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Martin O’Neill lightens the mood before Republic of Ireland’s tightrope walk

Ireland's manager Martin O'Neill (C) and assistent manager Roy Keane attend a training session at the Telia Parken Stadion in Copenhagen on November 10, 2017, the day before the World Cup...

Roy Keane said last week the key to Martin O’Neill’s celebrated motivational acumen boils down to a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. So it was intriguing, on the eve of Tuesday’s second leg of the tautly wound World Cup play‑off between the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, to hear O’Neill tease his captain, David Meyler, about missing penalties in training.

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Ireland's manager Martin O'Neill (C) and assistent manager Roy Keane attend a training session at the Telia Parken Stadion in Copenhagen on November 10, 2017, the day before the World Cup...

Martin O’Neill lightens the mood before Republic of Ireland’s tightrope walk

Roy Keane said last week the key to Martin O’Neill’s celebrated motivational acumen boils down to a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. So it was intriguing, on the eve of Tuesday’s second leg of the tautly wound World Cup play‑off between the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, to hear O’Neill tease his captain, David Meyler, about missing penalties in training.