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Keith Andrews says the Republic of Ireland camp has been a 'shambles and a circus'

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 14/09/2018 Paul O'Hehir
Martin O'Neill et al. sitting at a table: Keith Andrews has called the Irish camp a 'shambles' © Inpho & Conor McCabe Photography Keith Andrews has called the Irish camp a 'shambles'

Keith Andrews says the warring Republic of Ireland camp has been a ‘shambles and a circus’.

And he reckons Roy Keane is out of touch for thinking players still respond to the hairdryer treatment.

Martin O’Neill’s squad closed out the international window with renewed confidence after the friendly draw in Poland.

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a group of people standing in the grass © Credits: Conor McCabe Photography.

It eased some of the pressure on the manager but Andrews feels O’Neill and Keane are dead men walking if next month’s Denmark and Wales games go badly.

The Wroclaw result papered over the cracks of the 4-1 defeat to Wales the week before - not to mention the ructions behind the scenes.

Keane’s bust-up with Harry Arter and Jon Walters led to the Cardiff City midfielder quitting international football.

And Stephen Ward’s leaked warts-and-all WhatsApp account of that expletive laden row added fuel to the fire this week.

Asked what he made of the whole sorry saga, 35-times capped Andrews said yesterday: “A shambles, it’s been a circus.”

He continued: “It’s a big issue if this is the norm… that’s not the role of an assistant manager.

“Your role is to help the manager and to get the best out of the 11 players on the pitch.

“If the incident is what we're led to believe from the leaked WhatsApp, then that's obviously not getting the best out of players.”

© Getty

Andrews played under Giovanni Trapattoni but said bust-ups with the management team didn’t happen.

“We went through a testing time and there would be dust ups and arguments between players - that's run of the mill,” he said.

“But it's not run of the mill for this type of thing to go on with assistant managers in this day and age. Gone are the days of hairdryer treatment, they really are.”

But O’Neill is standing by Keane and claims the drive his assistant showed as a Manchester United player is exactly what he wants in a No 2.

Andrews said: “There’s talk of making up with Harry Arter - whether that will help or if it’s too little too late, I'm not sure.

“But it's very, very testing times. It's all about those two games next month and how we approach them and deal with them.”

Ireland’s last two competitive games just happened to be against Denmark and Wales - and they shipped a remarkable nine goals.

If the worst case scenario unfolds in Dublin and the Boys in Green suffer two defeats, Andrews cannot see how the management team survive.

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“It depends on the manner of the defeats,” he said. “If we see anything like Denmark in the Aviva and Wales in Cardiff, then I think that's the end of the era, no doubt about it.

“It stems from the Denmark performance but also what happened in January with Stoke hasn't sat well with media, fans - most importantly - and players, certainly.

“I wouldn't be happy if I was a player and my manager was flirting to go here or whatever, especially at the time when we’re all hurting after Denmark.”

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