Euro 2012: I won’t lose any sleep over jet lag, says captain Keane
Published 07/10/2011 | 08:43
ROBBIE Keane has not been losing any sleep over his exhausting globe-trotting to help the Republic of Ireland close in on their Euro 2012 dream.
The 31-year-old made the gruelling trip from Los Angeles to Moscow and back last month and has crossed several time zones once again to lead his country into battle in Andorra tonight.
However, Keane insists he is none the worse for the thousands of air miles.
He said: "I have been sleeping the same as I would. The last week has been fine, sleeping as normal, so I have no complaints there at all.
"As soon as I leave, I switch the clock and I have been lucky enough that I've slept really well and it's been fine."
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will hope the Los Angeles Galaxy striker is at his sharpest at the Estadi Comunal tonight as his side attempts to secure the three points they need to take into Tuesday's final Group B clash with Armenia with qualification still up for grabs.
Six points from the two games would guarantee the Republic at least a play-off spot, but should Slovakia beat leaders Russia tonight, two wins would send the Irish straight to Poland and Ukraine.
That may be easier said than done, however, in the relatively humble surroundings of a tiny stadium on a tight, uneven pitch.
Asked when he last played at a venue like that, Keane replied: "It was probably a reserve game when I was at Wolves, maybe.
"But we can't be worrying too much about the pitch or the stadium because when we were younger, a lot of us played on pitches like this.
"Of course, over the years we have been spoiled playing in great stadiums and on great pitches, but it's the same for both teams, so we can't have any excuses.
"We have to stop that now. After the game, whatever happens, we will have no excuses.
"We are looking forward to the game. Of course it is different circumstances to what we are used to, but just have to get on with it."
Unlike in Moscow, when Ireland went into the game as underdogs, they will run out tonight as hot favourites.
However, Keane insists their mindset must be just the same.
He said: "You go into every game wanting to win. We are the clear favourites and rightly so, but we have to just concentrate on what we are doing and focus on our own jobs.
"We can't just come here and think we are just going to get three points and that's it, and walk out.
"We have to earn it and give 100%, and we will do that."
Wigan midfielder James McCarthy did not train yesterday due to a head cold but is expected to be fit for the game.