Keane: ‘I don’t want England to win’

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane doesn’t want England to win the World Cup, but he is backing them to ease through the group stage in South Africa this month.

“To say I don’t care what happens to England is wrong,” said the former Republic of Ireland midfielder.

“But I don’t want them to win the World Cup.

“They say that there are no easy games in international football – but there are.

“Against some of the smaller nations in the group stage you can ease your way through.


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“And you can do this giving some fringe players a run-out and without gaining unnecessary bookings.

“You can feel you way into the tournament.

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“England have a good record of getting beyond the first stage, but it is the crunch games that they are in danger of coming unstuck.

“They could well fall a bit short against the likes of Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Italy – and a great deal will depend on Wayne Rooney.”

Keane is not going to South Africa, but he didn’t rule out signing a player who catches his eye during the tournament.

Speaking to Ipswich Player, Keane added: “Football takes up 24 hours of the day, and that’s why we love it.

“I’m always watching games although the group matches don’t rock my boat.

“But if someone from a small nation impresses I will show some interest – why not?”

Keane expects to see Blues defender Tommy Smith return from South Africa a better player, and his message is for the youngster to enjoy the experience.

“Tommy has squeezed into the New Zealand squad late on and he should enjoy it.

“It is good for him and it is good for Ipswich that he is there, and hopefully he’ll come back a better player for his experience.

“He still has a lot to learn as was shown at times in his games for us last season.

“His positional sense needs improving and he is still a little na�ve.

“There will be greater intensity than he has found before and it should make him a better player.”

Keane is not certain that 2010 tournament will live up to expectations, adding: “It could turn out to be an anti-climax.”

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