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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Healy in call-up nightmare
Roy Keane is renowned for losing his temper
Roy Keane is renowned for losing his temper
Celtic midfielder Colin Healy had his World Cup hopes dashed for a second time after he was briefly called up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

Healy had narrowly missed out on the original squad but on Tuesday was told he was being drafted in as a replacement for Manchester United star Roy Keane.

Keane had quit the squad, with claims that it was the result of a training ground bust-up with goalkeeping coach and former Celtic star Pat Bonner.

But Ireland boss Mick McCarthy was forced to telephone Healy again hours later to break the bad news that Keane was staying after all.

Keane, who is also nursing an injury, has since trained with the squad again on Wednesday and McCarthy insists his most important player is "fine".

"He has had a change of heart and I am delighted," said McCarthy.

Open Quote
Roy was going to go home after training on Tuesday
Close Quote
Manager Mick McCarthy

"He should be playing in the World Cup because he is one of the best players in the world."

The drama unfolded at the team hotel on the island in the Western Pacific, where they are acclimatising before flying on to Japan on Friday.

McCarthy explained: "Roy is not out of the World Cup. I spoke to him after training yesterday and he had concerns over his injuries - his knee.

Celtic's Colin Healy
Colin Healy was ready to join squad
"He was going to go home after training on Tuesday.

"He said to me it was personal reasons. I don't know what they were because he didn't give them to me.

"He'd made his mind up and nothing I said was going to change it.

"We had a number of discussions, but then he spoke to other people back at home and that resolved whatever problems there were.

"I know he is worried about his knee, he has treatment on it all the time. That is an ongoing thing and it will be."

McCarthy confirmed that he rang Healy, who had been on standby but that he had to shatter the youngster's dreams hours later by telling him Keane had changed his mind.

McCarthy also dismissed suggestions that Keane wanted to quit the squad following an incident with Bonner after training on Tuesday.

Keane was reportedly angry because the Republic's three goalkeepers - Shay Given, Dean Kiely and Alan Kelly - did not take part in five-a-side practice matches.

Open Quote
There is some suggestion this is all to do with a bust-up at training, but that is way off the mark
Close Quote
Mick McCarthy

Bonner had worked the goalkeepers for 40 minutes before the rest of the World Cup squad arrived and decided to rest them - much to the consternation of the squad captain.

Aggrieved that outfield players had to stand in goal and try to save the ball with their feet, Keane clashed with coach Ian Evans, Bonner and Kelly before he was calmed by McCarthy.

Keane was first to board the team coach afterwards, but McCarthy said: "There is some suggestion this is all to do with a bust-up at training, but that is way off the mark.

"There were suggestions he had a scuffle in training, and I wasn't even aware of that - Packie has bigger arguments with his lad over his homework, it is a regular occurrence in training.

"I asked him if it was that, or anything else, but he assured me it was personal.

"The lads are the best bunch you will ever meet and they will get on with it."


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BBC Sport's Andy Swiss
"Preparations have been thrown into sudden turmoil"
Ireland boss Mick McCarthy
"I didn't know of any tussle in training"
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GROUP E
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GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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