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Thursday 8 December 2016

'It's the greatest game on the planet' - Roy Keane urges fans not to get downbeat over corruption

Good news on the injury front for James McCarthy but Harry Arter is unlikely to feature

Published 04/10/2016 | 12:57

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Roy Keane has urged fans not to let worries about the amount of corruption in the game cause them to fall out of love with football.

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Pointing to the fact that there is corruption in all walks of life, Keane wanted to accentuate the positive.

"It's part of the game. It's greed. We've said it before there will be greed involved with so much money involved," he said.

"But there are some great people in the game and they should not have been tarnished by what has happened over the past week.

"There are great people in the game. That's why we watch it and love football. Let's not get distracted. It's the greatest game on the planet.

"Every now and then a story comes up but Let's remember what the game is all about.

"I'm not saying brush it under carpet. But let clubs and the English FA deal with it."

Keane has all but ruled Harry Arter out of the upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against Georgia and Moldova but he had better news on James McCarthy.

The Everton midfielder has trained twice and according to Keane, is under consideration for tomorrow night's clash with the Georgians.

"Harry is being assessed but it doesn't sound too good. He had a scan and it was pretty positive but the player himself feels it's a bit tight.

"If you don't train two games before a game that's not good news. Hopefully it will settle down but we wouldn't be optimistic.

"James did a little but today. We're usually cautious with players but James is really positive and there seems to be no reaction.

"He looked pretty sharp for someone who hasn't done much in the last four weeks after the operation.

"He seems very upbeat and positive about his recovery. I would expect him to available for Thursday."

The Ireland assistant boss believes that history tells us that no game is easy against the Georgians.

"In our games against them, there has been a goal in it and that's been the case for Georgia in a lot of games.

"In their record against us, they must count themselves unlucky losing by the odd goal. They have improved and the few games I've seen them, they are tough boys and they will have a go. They will enjoy coming to Dublin."

However, Keane is expecting a significant improvement from Ireland after Belgrade.

"We'll be sharper. Nice and fresh. A lot of the lads played over the weekend and we will be a lot fitter," he claimed.

With home form very good under the Martin O'Neill, Keane believes that the feel good factor which was missing two years ago has been won back.

"The players have taken confidence from big results and of course the fans play a big part.

" I think the players mentality, they want to keep that run going. We all enjoy the Aviva.

"The feelgood factor is back in football. For the first game I think we had lost something."

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