Ex-Leeds United and Tottenham striker reveals key factors which persuaded him to join Middlesbrough

New Middlesbrough assistant Robbie Keane isn’t afraid to speak his mind – but believes the trust he shares with manager Jonathan Woodgate will lead to an effective partnership at the Riverside.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 5:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 4:07 pm
Robbie Keane has joined Middlesbrough's new-look coaching set-up under Jonathan Woodgate.
Robbie Keane has joined Middlesbrough's new-look coaching set-up under Jonathan Woodgate.

Woodgate signed a three-year deal to become Boro’s new boss last week and quickly called on Keane, his former team-mate at Leeds United, to join his new-look coaching set-up.

Keane will also stay on in his role as Republic of Ireland assistant under Mick McCarthy, following an impressive career which saw the striker earn 146 international caps.

And when asked what attracted him to the Riverside, Keane told MFC.com: “The main thing when Woody called me is the trust we have with each other. I think that’s very important as his assistant manager, you have to have that trust in each other.

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“We obviously do because we’ve been friends for a long, long time. That’s certainly the key one.

“They’ll be times where we disagree, there will be times where he’ll pick the team and I’ll think maybe we could do this better.

“Ultimately he’s the manager so ultimately it’s down to him but I think you have to have that open relationship and I think we have that.”

Keane is fully on board with the attacking philosophy Woodgate wants to build at Boro, and also believes he can help the club’s defenders who are trying to read and stop opposing frontman.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham striker also wants to create a positive environment at the Riverside next season and won’t tolerate any ‘energy-sappers’ around the club.

"Our job as coaches, we want the players coming in and enjoying themselves," added Keane. "You'll certainly get that from us, there's no question about it.

"I think that's very important and I've always made that clear when I was a captain to the players. Woody obviously knows me for that.

"We want energy, energising people not energy-sappers ruining this great football club. It's not just the players, it's everybody around the club.

“The players will come in with a smile on their face but if it's not done properly they'll be told."