Euro 2012: Ireland won't lie down - Keane
Robbie Keane has warned Italy that Ireland will not roll over as they attempt to end their Euro 2012 campaign in style.
Cesare Prandelli's men know even victory over Ireland in Poznan on Monday evening may not be enough to put them into the quarter-finals if Spain and Croatia play out a high-scoring draw. However, they will definitely be joining Ireland on the way home from Poland the following day if they do not come out on top.
Keane said: "We are not going into this game for one second thinking that we are going to let Italy walk all over us, there is no question about that. We will go into that game on Monday hoping to go back to Ireland with three points."
Keane's optimism may be tinged with a little bravado, but recent history suggests it is not necessarily unfounded. The two sides have met three times during Trapattoni's reign to date and Ireland are yet to finish on the losing side.
Keane's equaliser in Bari during the qualifying campaign for the last World Cup finals earned his side a precious point, and Italy needed a late equaliser in Dublin to avoid defeat in the return. Ireland went one better in a friendly in Liege last summer when a much-changed side enjoyed a 2-0 win.
Keane said: "The games we have played, we have done ever so well against them. I think the Italian players, knowing a few of them, they know Ireland is not going to be an easy game for them. It is certainly going to be a tough game for them. One thing I know for a fact is these players will give 110%."
The defeat by Spain ended Ireland's hopes of reaching the last eight and left Trapattoni facing a post-mortem with a game still to play.
He insisted that he would not be walking away whatever happens in Poznan, and that none of his senior players has indicated to him that they are about to end their international careers.
Nevertheless, speculation is mounting that the likes of record goalscorer Keane, 36-year-old keeper Shay Given, central defender Richard Dunne and winger Damien Duff, who is in line to win his 100th cap against Italy, could decide to call it a day.
However, Keane revealed that has not even crossed his mind at this point. He said: "First of all, it's not my decision whether any of the players retire, that's their own thing. For me, I am just focusing on Monday's game and then after that, I will see."