WE'RE THE NO1 WORLD CUP PAPER Captain Hothead; KEANE'S BACK IN TEAM AFTER AMAZING TRAINING GROUND BUST-UP WITH GOALIES I Tried to Coax Him out of It -MICK McCARTHY YESTERDAY It's over and done,I Get like That Sometimes -MICK McCARTHY YESTERDAY -ROY KEANE YESTERDAY

The Mirror (London, England), May 23, 2002 | Go to article overview

WE'RE THE NO1 WORLD CUP PAPER Captain Hothead; KEANE'S BACK IN TEAM AFTER AMAZING TRAINING GROUND BUST-UP WITH GOALIES I Tried to Coax Him out of It -MICK McCARTHY YESTERDAY It's over and done,I Get like That Sometimes -MICK McCARTHY YESTERDAY -ROY KEANE YESTERDAY


Byline: MICHAEL SCULLY in Saipan

ROY KEANE was back in training yesterday - to the relief of Irish fans all over the world.

After 24-hours of turmoil that sent shockwaves through the nation, fans could breathe easily again with Keane back in the camp.

Only a call to family and advisors in Ireland stopped the midfielder from quitting the squad - just 10 days from the World Cup kick-off.

Keane, quizzed about the amazing bust-up, said yesterday: "It's over and done with. I get like that sometimes."

Close friends of the star blame the pressure of "personal problems" - the Manchester United captain has clearly been unhappy since arriving in Saipan.

Until Keane pulled back from the brink, it looked like Ireland had lost its captain and talisman. This was how the drama unfolded after a training ground row with goalkeeping coach Packie Bonner.

Late on Tuesday night - Tuesday afternoon in Ireland because of the 10-hour time difference - Keane told manager Mick McCarthy that he had made his mind up.

After storming from the training ground Keane knocked on the Irish manager's room as he showered - calling through the door that he was leaving.

Despite pleas for him to reconsider, McCarthy resigned himself to losing his star midfielder.

Keane himself said he should make arrangements to bring in another player, Colin Healy, with the final deadline to submit his official squad just hours away.

As the manager went to bed he was convinced Keane was on his way home.

But in the hours that followed Keane spoke to his wife Theresa and his parents. He is also believed to have talked over the situation with his representative, London-based solicitor Michael Kennedy.

Keane slept on it and yesterday morning informed McCarthy that he had decided to remain with the squad, who get their World Cup challenge underway against Cameroon in Niigata on Saturday week.

McCarthy said: "I can confirm that Roy Keane asked to go home. I spoke to him but I don't know what time he had a change of heart. It was a bit of a shock and I tried to coax him out of it.

"The reasons behind it, well I understand he has ongoing concerns about his knee. But as for the other reasons, I think you'll have to talk to Roy.

"He should be playing in the World Cup - he's one of the best players in the world. I have no concerns about him."

He plays for one of the best teams in the world week in, week out. I can't speak for him, but he trained this morning with the lads and they are the best bunch of fellas.

"I've no worries. Maybe these things are sent to test us and we'll be stronger for them."

Packie Bonner yesterday played down the training ground dispute that ended with Keane throwing a water bottle in disgust.

Bonner said: "All I did on Tuesday was stand my ground and defend my goalkeepers when Roy wanted to know why they had not taken part in the five-a-sides.

"They had just undertaken a very intensive 40-minute training session of their own in the heat here and there was no way they could play a game. They were too exhausted and I made that clear to Roy.

"It was no more than an animated discussion that has been blown out of all proportion. I spoke my mind and Roy spoke his in the tone of voice that is common on training grounds the world over.

"Yes, it was heated but that is part and parcel of the game and there would be something wrong if players were not hyped up this close to a World Cup finals."

But it was as if the chaos of the last day had not happened as the Irish squad resumed training in the searing heat yesterday.

Although the players looked nervous as the session began, they soon settled down and it was business as usual - with Keane at the centre of the banter. …

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WE'RE THE NO1 WORLD CUP PAPER Captain Hothead; KEANE'S BACK IN TEAM AFTER AMAZING TRAINING GROUND BUST-UP WITH GOALIES I Tried to Coax Him out of It -MICK McCARTHY YESTERDAY It's over and done,I Get like That Sometimes -MICK McCARTHY YESTERDAY -ROY KEANE YESTERDAY
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