'We want to test ourselves against the best' - Roy Keane wants Seamus Coleman to respond to Bale presence
Roy Keane was in town to discuss the start of the Airtricity League season on February 24.
But on March 24, all eyes will be on the Aviva for the visit of Wales.
Gareth Bale will be there and the Irish assistant said yesterday that he always anticipated that would be the case.
He doesn't think that the home dressing room will be fazed by the Real Madrid star's presence and cited the most successful recent graduate from the league, skipper Seamus Coleman, as the right man to set the correct tone.
"He's working with the best surgeons and fitness coaches over there," said Keane. "To me, he was always going to be fit for our match and we will be ready for him. I won't, but the players will.
"We have good players, Seamus Coleman and people like that, and we should be excited as you want to test yourself against the best.
"We are up against a very good team but Martin has done a great job. We have a good spirit, a good energy in the group, and I think the fans are right behind us at the moment - obviously that can change really quickly, we all know that.
"But we are really looking forward to the match, so please God all our lads stay fit."
Keane watches a fair bit of League of Ireland and a saw a lot of Dundalk last year before Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle got called into the squad ahead of their moves to Preston. He feels they should inspire others.
"If you are a player in the League of Ireland and you see what's happened to a couple of lads, the first thing you'd ask yourself is, 'Why can't that be me?'" he said.
"Me and Martin enjoy going to matches and it's not a PR exercise. Your eyes don't lie to you and we've been impressed with lots of players."