Roy Keane: We will bring Scotland back down to earth
Published 12/06/2015 | 02:30
Roy Keane is determined to kill the good vibes around Group D rivals Scotland and believes that Gordon Strachan's side have received premature praise with half of the Euro 2016 campaign remaining.
Strachan is riding a wave of positive publicity at home ahead of his side's trip to Dublin for tomorrow's Aviva Stadium showdown, but Keane thinks it would be dangerous to underestimate the strengths of Martin O'Neill.
The Irish assistant boss asserted that the respective managers can only be judged come November, and observed that a late set piece goal was the only difference between the sides in Glasgow.
"At the moment, the feel-good factor seems to be with them," said Keane. "They've got a lot of momentum and they're getting a lot of plaudits. But when you look at the game, there wasn't much between us.
"Scotland are coming here and no doubt they are in good spirits. But we need to make sure they're leaving Dublin in bad spirits."
Strachan was manager of Celtic when Keane joined the club, but the Corkman inferred in his autobiography that he pushed through the deal himself when the Scot appeared lukewarm on a high-profile recruit.
The Scotland boss says he has a "smashing" relationship with the Irish assistant, but Keane refused to dish out platitudes when asked to assess the quality of his old gaffer's work with his native country.
"I think you'll have a better idea at the end of this campaign," he replied, and he adopted a similar tone when posed a query about Strachan's meticulous preparation.
"Gordon is an experienced manager but Martin O'Neill is pretty experienced too you know," he said.
"I think it's pretty close all round. I don't think there was much in the game up in Glasgow but enough in the fact that we lost the game.
"I'm comfortable going into a game with Martin O'Neill as the manager as well."
Harry Arter is out of the match with a hip problem, while Robbie Keane trained with the group yesterday.
However, the elder Keane admitted that the record-scorer's lack of match fitness is 'not ideal' and there is a strong possibility that the 34-year-old will again be confined to an impact sub role in the Celtic derby.
O'Neill's sidekick is expecting another close-run affair and is content with the build-up which, overall, has been quite kind to Ireland on the injury front compared to the first meeting.
"The feel from the group is that I don't think there'll be any question marks afterwards about the players' desire and effort in the game," stressed Keane.
"We'll have all of that; it's just about one or two of the players producing that bit of quality that will win the game.
"Just like Scotland produced in the last game," he added.
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