Chris Coleman: Wales boss has 'ears closed' to any comments from Roy Keane

Keane Coleman
Roy Keane became Republic of Ireland assistant boss in November 2013

Wales boss Chris Coleman says he will ignore any comments from Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during Friday's World Cup qualifier.

Keane said last week that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had been talking "garbage" and that he was "sick to death" of the Portuguese.

Coleman said his "ears will be closed" to anyone but Republic counterpart Martin O'Neill this week.

"He's a shrewd and intelligent man and he's done a great job," said Coleman.

"If Martin says something, I'll pay attention to that as he's one of the managers I respect the most."

Wales go into Friday's game at Dublin's Aviva Stadium third in the group, four points behind the table-topping Republic.

'Ireland have had more gifted teams, but this one's together'

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Wales boss Coleman's Irish connection

And, though tensions will be high, Coleman is not expecting any incidents on the touchline.

"Sometimes it gets the better of you, but nothing's going to happen," he said.

"I've only ever reacted if the opposition manager or coach has said something derogatory about one of my players.

"If it's going to get a little bit spiky, it's not really my style. I'll be concentrating on what we need to do against the Republic."

Coleman says his team must match their opponents' "togetherness".

"They've probably had more gifted teams, but this is a together team who work for each other," he said. "That's down to Martin."

Gareth Bale
Coleman expects Gareth Bale to be fighting fit

Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn has been included in the squad, and the 17-year-old could win his first cap from the bench.

But Wales' main dangerman remains Gareth Bale - and Coleman says the Real Madrid forward has made a full recovery from ankle surgery.

Bale completed Real's 2-1 La Liga win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, but it was only his sixth appearance since the end of November.

"It's always a worry because when he got injured he was out for three months," Coleman said.

"I was out in Madrid last month and having a chat and watching him train put my mind to rest.

"He's an absolute specimen, a machine. He won't be undercooked. He's ready."

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