Roy Keane: I'm not an animal

Roy Keane. Photo: PA

Roy Keane has insisted he is not an animal who needs taming after returning to the Republic of Ireland fold.

The 42-year-old former Ireland skipper conducted his first press conference since accepting the offer to become new Republic manager Martin O'Neill's number two on Wednesday afternoon, and was quick to defend himself against the perception that he is a combustible character.

Keane admitted he might have to rein himself in at times, but asked about O'Neill's determination to allow him to be his own man, he said: "There's nothing to tame. I'm not some sort of animal, you know what I mean?

"I'm a footballing man, I like to work hard and push people, and sometimes I suppose I have got that slightly wrong on one or two occasions over the years.

"But generally speaking, I look back and I think I have got a lot of it right.

"Yes, there are areas I need to look at, particularly as now I'm the assistant, when to step back, and hopefully I get that right as well.

"But I am also there to push the players and put demands on the players, like we did today in training.

"We have got some good players and sometimes the players themselves are the last to realise how good they are.

"We have got some really good young players and we have got to push them and put demands on them because from my own experience, I used to like that. I used to like people pushing me.

"That's the name of the game from when you're a kid. My manager from when I was a kid at [boys' club] Rockmount - 'Come on, you can do better'. I loved it, it was great.

"But obviously, there's a way of speaking to people, I understand that, there's a way of getting that message across and how you put the demands on them.

"You have to treat people with respect and hopefully the players from the last few days will appreciate that."

That Keane face. Credit: PA