Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis to make most of former Liverpool and Spurs ace Robbie Keane's expertise

Ronan Curtis celebrates Pompey's Checkatrade Trophy success against Sunderland Picture: Joe Pepler
Ronan Curtis celebrates Pompey's Checkatrade Trophy success against Sunderland Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ronan Curtis appears undaunted at the prospect of having a Republic of Ireland legend keeping a watchful eye over his progress.

Earlier this month the Pompey winger linked up with the Irish for their Euro Championship qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar respectively.

Despite not featuring in either game, it was another chance for the Blues’ young player of the season to showcase his skills in front of Eire boss Mick McCarthy.

But it’s not only the former Ipswich manager that Curtis was out to impress.

Following his reappointment as Ireland boss in November 2018, McCarthy appointed Robbie Keane as his assistant manager.

The former Liverpool, Spurs, Leeds and Inter Milan striker is the Republic’s record caps holder and goalscorer.

Former Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane

Former Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane

He amassed 68 goals in 146 appearances for the Irish during an 18-year career that also saw him cost clubs around £75m in transfer fees.

And it’s those type of statistics that leave Curtis in awe as he bids to build on his debut season at Fratton Park.

That maiden season in English football saw the former Derry man record an impressive 12 goals in 49 appearances for Kenny Jackett’s side.

And as the Blues prepare to return to pre-season training ahead of their League One opener against Shrewsbury on August 3, Curtis is hoping his dealings with Keane can boost his game even further.

Speaking to Highland Radio on a return trip to Derry City’s Brandywell, Curtis said: ‘It's mad, it's crazy (having Keane around the Republic of Ireland camp).

'You're talking to a player who's in that zone and plays up top and plays on the wings, so it's good to get advice from a lgend of Ireland like Robbie Keane who tells you what you can improve on and what you can work on.

'So it's always good to have him around the lads and he still joins in and everything, and still has a bit.

‘So yeah, it's good, very good.'

Curtis also revealed admiration for McCarthy.

He added: 'Mick's an unbelievable manager - he gets the players on board and the motivataion.

‘You seen it in the last few games - three wins and one draw, top of the table, it's amazing.’