Roy Keane 'Got Me In The Zone' Says Republic Of Ireland's Cyrus Christie
Cyrus Christie has thanked Roy Keane for getting him ready for Republic of Ireland’s win against Gibraltar at short notice.
The Derby County defender, who scored the opener in a 4-0 win in the Algarve on Friday night, only found out he was playing on Thursday after Seamus Coleman picked up a knock in training.
Keane, boss Martin O’Neill’s assistant, took Christie for one-on-one sessions to get his first touch and awareness up to scratch and Christie admits that it worked.
“Every time I come here, I like to get the ball and have someone rap it into me. Roy loves to test you – he had me running round everywhere, testing my touch,” he said.
“It gets you ready for the game because he is going to rap it in harder than the lads do during the game, so it got me ready. He gets me warmed up and he got me in the zone ready to go out and play the game.
“Roy just told me to go out there and do what I usually do and what I have done in training; just get the ball, get at people, put the crosses in early and express myself.
“First and foremost, obviously, he wanted me to defend and get the clean sheet because these games can always be tougher than the bigger opponents, so we had to go out there and be mentally right.”
Christie, who has started just once for Derby so far the Championship this season, impressed as Robbie Keane added two further goals and Shane Long bagged the fourth late on.
And he believes his relaxed nature helped him slot straight in.
He said: “I’m a laid-back character – it doesn’t really bother me too much. I slept well, slept as usual on Friday afternoon, and just prepared right and it paid off.
“I was lacking a bit of match fitness – I haven’t really played that much this season, so for me to step out on the pitch was great, and the team played well. Now we have to follow it up now against Georgia.”