Roy Keane will understand Martin O'Neill is Republic of Ireland boss, expects Ray Houghton

The pair have been confirmed as the new management team

Ray Houghton insists Roy Keane is not expecting equal billing alongside Martin O'Neill when the duo take charge of the Republic of Ireland.

The Football Association of Ireland on Tuesday night confirmed O'Neill as the man to lead them into the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, with the forceful presence of Keane installed as his number two.

The strong-willed Keane has been a force for both good and bad for the Republic in the past, with his infamous falling-out with the national team management at the 2002 World Cup a memory that overrides all the positive things he did on the pitch.

Keane's return to the fold has given way to inevitable speculation over his likely influence on the dressing room, but Houghton, who was part of the team tasked by the FAI with searching for a new manager, has no concerns.

The former Republic midfielder spoke at length with Keane during the negotiations and told Sky Sports News: "His enthusiasm, his knowledge, what he thought the Irish team could do was hugely surprising to me. He was very, very good.

"He knows what he wants, where he wants to take them alongside Martin. He knows his position: Martin will be the manager; Roy will assist Martin. So there's no grey area there - it's not like Roy's going to be on a level term.

"Martin will be the number one and Roy will do everything in his power to help him.

"It could be a good learning curve for Roy."

Asked about Keane's past strained relations with the FAI board, Houghton said: "I don't think that's going to be a problem. It took 30 seconds to put everything out the way and now it's down to business.

"We have to leave the past in the past. We can't do anything about it. We can't change the past, what we can change is the future.

"For Irish football, it shows we're going in the right direction. It's exciting times. The next couple of years should be very, very good."

Houghton's former Republic team-mate Niall Quinn agrees that Keane will not become disruptive to O'Neill's plans.

"I'm not worried that he's going to want to say different things to Martin O'Neill, I think I'm more looking forward to him getting out there, bringing his presence," the former Arsenal, Manchester City and Sunderland striker told Sky Sports.

"It's great news for Ireland. People have had opinions about Roy and Martin for many years and we can sit back now and watch over the next couple of years and hopefully it will be a very exciting time."

Former Republic goalkeeper Shay Given also welcomed the double appointment, writing on Twitter: "Good luck to Martin O'Neill & Roy Keane in new jobs FAIreland lots of different opinions but all that matters is we qualify for the euros"

Current national team players also had their say on Twitter.

Hull midfielder David Meyler wrote on his account: "Delighted Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane have taken over. Exciting times ahead for Irish Football!"

Sean St Ledger, the Leicester defender, wrote: "Exciting times for Irish football with the appointment of Martin o Neill and Roy Keane!"

PA

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on Scotland's oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Sport
footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week