The Irish former striker joined Woodgate's new look coaching staff at Boro last week, a role he will combine with his job as assistant to Mick McCarthy for the Republic of Ireland national team. 

A one-time teammate to Woodgate at Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, Keane believes the honesty and openness between the pair will prove crucial.

"We've been friends for a long, long time," Keane said.

"So to work alongside him, to help him out is something I'm really excited about.

"The main thing is the trust we have with each other.

"There will be times where we'll disagree, he'll pick the team and I'll think maybe we could do this better.

 "I think you have to have that open relationship and we certainly have that."

One thing the pair agree on is a style of play that they want to see at the Riverside next season.

"Woody has the same philosophy as me in how we like to play the game, and that's attacking, vibrant football," he said.

"We've been around football for a long time of course and we know how a football club works - but you're on the other side of it now.

"It's a learning curve but I'm always watching and observing how other people do it. It's a great opportunity for me."

Chairman Steve Gibson revealed in last Friday's media conference that he had invited Keane and his family for dinner, and Keane says it helped sway his decision.

"I'd never met Steve before but heard so many great things about him from many people in the football world," Keane said.

"Neil [Bausor] and Adrian [Bevington] also, great people.

"With them and with Woody, to actually sit down with me and have a proper conversation about what the vision is, and to see where they want the club to go  - of course I wanted to come here to help Jonathan out."

Despite his reputation as a prolific goalscorer from his playing days, Keane says it won't only be Boro's forwards that reap the rewards of his tutelage. 

"Attacking football can start from the back, the midfield players," he said.

"And of course the strikers, ultimately they're goalscorers and they will be judged on scoring goals. Our job as a coaching staff, is to give them the best opportunity to be able to do that.

"It's up to the players ultimately to buy into to, to work their socks off for the opportunities to play in the team first, and when they do, that they take their chances.

"Woody has the same philosophy as me in how we like to play the game, and that's attacking, vibrant football."

Robbie Keane

"Woody and I have spoken about it, and it's not just going to be me working with the strikers. I can help the defenders in terms of the movements I made and playing against someone like myself, and vice versa with Woody and the forwards.

"It's about the whole team, the philosophy, and what we want to do."

Keane believes his positivity is part of what convinced Woodgate to give his old friend a call when assembling his coaching team.

"Our job as coaches, we want the players coming in and enjoying themselves," he said.

"You'll certainly get that from us, there's no question about it. The positive energy on the training pitch and around the place.

"I think that's very important and I've always made that clear when I was a captain to the players. Woody obviously knows me for that.

"We want energy, energising people not energy-sappers ruining this great football club. It's not just the players, it's everybody around the club.

"The players will come in with a smile on their face but if it's not done properly they'll be told."

Watch the full interview with Robbie Keane in the video player above.