Football: Mick Ignores Keane's Stick; McCarthy Silent after Roy Blast

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Byline: BILL PIERCE

THE latest revelations over Roy Keane's amazing World Cup bust-up with Mick McCarthy were greeted with a stony silence from the Republic of Ireland manager yesterday.

McCarthy has told friends he is determined not to be drawn into a response to Keane's continuing jibes which are featured in the Manchester United star's autobiography.

And Football Association of Ireland press officer Brendan McKenna said: ``The feeling among the officials seems to be that we want to put some distance between ourselves and this issue.''

McCarthy, who has been accused by Keane of not employing positive enough tactics to beat Spain in the second round after Jose Camacho's side had been reduced to 10 men for the entire period of extra-time, has pledged to make no further comment whatsoever.

Keane said: ``The World Cup? They did okay, but that's what they expected because the manager drums that into the team.

``We've done well to qualify, all that nonsense. That's the problem. That sums up the mentality.

``Spain had 10 men for half an hour, the game was there for the taking. I think a more astute manager would have won the game. Some people have higher standards than others.''

McCarthy's decision to stay silent will strengthen his pledge that there is no way he will have Keane back in the Ireland squad which means at least two more years - the length of McCarthy's current contract - in the international wilderness for the 31year-old midfield ace.

Unsurprisingly, Keane has also said he will never play for Ireland again while McCarthy is in charge but if the manager leaves for a club job the midfielder will look at the situation again.

This, though, would put the pressure firmly on the FAI who have also been the butt of Keane's criticism.

It would look a huge insult to McCarthy if Keane was ever allowed to return under any Ireland manager. …