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Saturday, 25 May, 2002, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
McCarthy ends Keane saga
Roy Keane walks up the drive of his Cheshire home
Roy Keane walks up the drive of his Cheshire home
BBC Sport Online's Lyle Jackson

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"Do not mention Roy Keane".

That was the strict message from Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy when he met the media on Saturday.

Irish and British reporters following the Republic already knew raising the subject would get them nowhere.

But word had not spread to the Japanese media.

And after Saturday's warm-up friendly against J-League outfit Sanfreece Hiroshima, McCarthy was confronted with questions about the missing Manchester United captain.

At the media conference, McCarthy interrupted the female interpreter after a question had been asked in Japanese.

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy
McCarthy is concentrating on the 22 players left

"Can I save you the trouble, love?" said McCarthy in his broad Yorkshire accent after recognising the dreaded two words in the lengthy question.

"I did not understand the question but I got the gist of what it was about," he continued. "We have moved on from that.

"There are 22 players in that dressing room and I will talk about any one of them.

"Other than that, the subject is closed as far as I am concerned."

Several further attempts to broach the subject were made by Japanese reporters who did not quite appreciate just how frustrated McCarthy has become with questions about Roy Keane. But they got nowhere.

"Something must have got lost in the translation. The answer is no comment," said McCarthy.

His approach was supported by defender Steve Staunton who has taken over as captain of the Ireland team.

"The match against Cameroon is the only thing on our minds.

"We have been focused. We have come here for a job and we are going to do it. You reporters can deal with it as you want."


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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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