Roy Keane knows what it takes to win.
The former Manchester United captain won seven Premier League titles, four FA Cup titles, and a Champions League trophy during his playing career, all as one of the most feared midfielders in the world.
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His fiery attitude and penchant for borderline tackles gave Keane a reputation as one of the baddest men in football.
Now an assistant manager for his native Ireland, Keane is passing on some of his knowledge to the current squad.
Ireland head into the final match of group play at EURO 2016 needing a win over Italy to advance to the knockout rounds. With so much on the line, Keane said there’s not time for being nice.
My advice would probably be, yes, take him out.
We’re not here to make friends – the fans are doing that. You have got to be streetwise in this game.
But from the players’ point of view, if you smell danger, if you can hold the player up and you can win the ball, fantastic.
But if you think, ‘We’re in trouble here’, then yes, you do whatever you can to get the right result and if that’s fouling, then you foul.
It’s not a crime. You might get a yellow card – you might even get a red – but your team might win.
While taking a tactical foul is part of the game, Keane had a tendency to sometimes step over that line from gamesmanship to recklessness. A quick YouTube search will show you exactly what that looks like…
What Keane is trying to say is that the players should do whatever it takes to earn a win for Ireland. With Italy already into the knockout rounds, the Irish could take advantage of a side that will likely be resting a few starters and pull out a surprise result.
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