'If they become available... fantastic bonus' - Roy Keane not giving up hope on injured duo
Roy Keane wants everyone to forget about injuries, suspensions and any other distractions and focus completely on Friday night's Euro 2016 play-off first-leg against Bosnia in Zenica.
Ireland's assistant boss kept a light shinning for all Martin O'Neill's walking wounded and believes that the next 24 to 36 hours will be definitive in terms of both Shane Long and John O'Shea.
"With the injuries over the last two weeks I kind of ruled them out anyway. If they become available, fantastic bonus. The injuries they had were sore ones," he said.
"I never thought for one minute we'd turn up and everyone would be available.
"It's disappointing. The boring answer is that it's just a part of sport."
Keane still thinks that Long and O'Shea have a chance and he finds it odd that English club managers seem to settle on 10 days as the standard injury excuse, exactly the length of time between club fixtures on during an international break.
"Players seem to be ruled out for 10 to fourteen days. It's amazing," he added.
"If players are not fit, you have to respect the club but it's ironic that they all seem to get ruled out by 14 days, even club managers who have been international managers before."
Keane believes that regardless of which players end up in Friday night's team, they will be strong enough to do a job and he had an interesting take on the Wes Hoolahan debate with the second-leg in the Aviva in mind.
"Look, Wes had a knock. It was about being fit to start."
"It was more an injury issue. I don't think getting through two games is a problem for Wes."