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Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball

David Meyler told The Football Show how Roy Keane's granular coaching style improved him - and a story of when he let him down.

Meyler joined Off The Ball to preview Slovakia v Republic of Ireland, and the topic of his former international coach came up as an example of the other side to Keane than the pantomime villain.

Roy Keane: coaching strategies

"Roy was working with Martin, I was living in Hull and he was living in Manchester. They used to go around to see games.

"When Roy was there, I would ring him or text him after the game because he would be driving home to Manchester and I'd be keen to know his thoughts.

"He was great. Roy would sit you down and tell you what he thought you did well and what you could improve on. He gave me great feedback, he was very, very honest as you could imagine."

Specificity

Keane has been criticised in some quarters as a pundit for being a touch too simplistic and lacking in specificity when it comes to the performances of teams and players.

"He would run through everything with me. He would make it very specific to me, as a midfielder.

"It might be something like 'Do you remember when you conceded that chance?', you would be racking your brains because your emotions are high after a game or whatever.

"He would say 'You should have been five yards across, because you could cut that passing lane' or 'You are charging out to block the man, but where's the danger?'

"I would be saying 'Well, the danger is behind me' and he would say 'Well, hold your ground.'

"It was the little things like that."

Understanding the game

"It might only be small snippets of information, but you start to think about them but it is his understanding of the game to try and get you to play better.

"The big one for me was that if the man is in front of me, I don't necessarily need to go and close him down because I am the nearest man. The ball in front of me is better.

"If I could make him play it sideways, great, if I could make him play it backwards - fantastic. But I didn't need to steam out of my position and get the ball popped round me.

"As I got older, I started to understand the game and understand the position a lot better."

Being able to pick his fellow Cork midfielder's brains was a real pleasure for Meyler - until it wasn't.

"They were very enjoyable unless I had a bad performance!

"I was coming to the end of my contract with Hull and he drove over from Manchester for the game. He was sitting in the car park until kick-off, but I walked past his car.

"He beeped his horn and he said 'What are you doing?' I said that I wasn't playing and he said 'I've driven all this fucking way to see you!'

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David Meyler Hull Ireland Roy Keane Sunderland

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