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Damien Duff backs Robbie Keane to coach Ireland

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Damien Duff believes Robbie Keane would be able to provide the Republic of Ireland a spark if he were appointed as a coach

The former Chelsea winger played alongside Keane for Ireland between 1998 and 2012.

In total, Duff made 100 appearances at international level and scored for Ireland at the 2002 World Cup.

Recent reports are suggesting that former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is to succeed the departed Martin O’Neill in the dugout with Keane alongside him.

And one man that approves of this is Keane’s long-time friend Duff – who believes the former Tottenham striker has plenty to offer.

“He would bring a spark and a bond back with the fans,” said Duff, according to the Irish Mirror.

“I know all the lads love him and he would give the whole place a lift.

“He can’t pull the jersey back on and score goals for us.

“But he might be able to teach the lads around the box that guile, that X-factor and street wiseness that I don’t think anyone has anymore in the Irish team.

“He’s doing his badges and I’m sure he’d be a great coach, a great manager and what a way to learn under Mick.

“He would be jumping in at the deep end and good luck to him if that did happen.

“But usually when Robbie is doing something in his career I always get a text or a call and I haven’t had it yet.”

Keane is Ireland’s all-time record goalscorer with 68 goals in 146 games at international level.

The 38-year-old is without a club since leaving India last season, but has been working on a Pro Licence course in Ireland to earn his coaching badges.