Former Ireland stalwart Chris Hughton backs “experienced” Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane managerial team

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill (left) and assistant manager Roy Keane during a training

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill (left) and assistant manager Roy Keane during a training session at Gannon Park, Malahide. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

With 53 Republic of Ireland caps to his name, Norwich City manager Chris Hughton is well qualified to judge his adopted country's high-profile new management team.

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images.

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane take charge of Ireland for the first time tonight for a friendly against Latvia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Some have questioned whether it is wise to pair two famously tough characters like former Canaries boss O'Neill and ex-Ipswich Town manager Keane.

But Hughton, who was born in London but qualified to play for Ireland through his mother, is backing the disciplinarian duo to show their managerial qualities.

'Both are very experienced, certainly Martin in an even more experienced manner, is someone who has got a very good manner with players,' Hughton told Norwich City's official website.


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'He (O'Neill) has made a decision to come away from club football, which will be a change for him. I think he'll miss the day-to-day involvement with the players but certainly there are two individuals who automatically get that respect. But it will be about results.

'What will perhaps frustrate them is that it is a great opportunity to see the players in these two games but then I don't think there's another international game until March (at home against Serbia), which is a long way away and they will want to get their teeth into the job.'

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City attacker Wes Hoolahan is in the squad for tonight's match but winger Anthony Pilkington did not join up with the squad initially because of a dead leg picked up in Saturday's 3-1 win against West Ham.

Keane confirmed in his first press conference that Pilkington won't be involved in the game but is flying over to meet up with the new management team.

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