'Top-class' - Robbie Keane hails Leeds United step and makes management vow upon landing new job
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Ex-Leeds striker Keane returned to the club in a coaching capacity towards the end of last season as an assistant to Sam Allardyce who was appointed as United’s third boss of an awful season in a last-ditch attempt to keep the relegation-battling Whites up.
Allardyce, Keane and fellow assistant Karl Robinson all left the club after Leeds were ultimately relegated and Keane has now moved on to his first outright job in senior management as new head coach of Israel outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv who have qualified for next season's Europa Conference League.
Speaking to Betway, Keane said accepting the job was a "no brainer" and hailed the impact of his recent spell at Elland Road as he vowed to stick to his guns in implementing his own authentic management style.
"My first few weeks in Tel Aviv have been really enjoyable," said Keane. "I’ve played here before for Ireland, but I was never able to spend much time in the city because you’re in and out. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s been an honour to take my first head coach job at Maccabi Tel Aviv as well.
"I don’t think people back at home realise how big the club is. I certainly did, but I’m not sure from the outside. Maccabi Tel Aviv is a huge club with a magnificent history, so taking the job here was a no-brainer.
"One of the big reasons I came here was to have the opportunity to manage in UEFA competitions. This year we’re in the Europa Conference League, and if we do well in the league then there’s the carrot of getting into the Champions League or Europa League.
"I learned a lot working under Sam Allardyce at Leeds recently, and something I want to take into my career is his top-class man management. The respect and honesty with which he speaks to everyone is something I’ll always try and replicate.
"He’s very similar to Mick McCarthy in that respect. They’re both managers who I respect, but the best piece of advice I’ve had is to be myself. I can’t be either of them, I just have to be me and take advice where necessary. But I’ll be authentic, stick to my guns and play the way I want to play."