Keane cut down for his silence over injury

Paul Hyland

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has sent a sharp reminder to Robbie Keane that even his captain is not immune from the rules which now govern the Republic of Ireland squad.

Clearly still irritated by the fact that Keane was not available to play against Armenia because of an injury he exacerbated in Andorra, Trapattoni didn't mince his words.

"I talked to him afterwards about this. If it was a knock then I would not be afraid but because it was a muscular problem he made it worse," said Trap.

"I told him that he should have said it immediately but sometimes players are like that.

"But with a muscle problem there is no room for a discussion. If I have a player who is a doubt before a game because of a problem with a muscle, he never plays and I am sure could never play 90 minutes.


"Now, all we can do is to keep an eye on him. Every week, he will have a scan and an injection. But it's a bad injury and he will be missing one month."

Despite the bad news about Keane, Trap was in upbeat form and quickly batted back suggestions that his work with Ireland has been all about luck.

"Thank God! I won a lot of cups and championships in my career and I can tell you that luck is a good thing. Napoleon chose his generals because they were lucky, maybe the FAI chose me because of luck."

Next on the chopping block was Kevin Kilbane, who may have been surprised to wake up this morning and find he has all but retired.

"He's a correct man and I don't forget him. I never said he's finished. But there is a moment when things change.

"When I changed Juventus, we had seven international players. The team remained strong but we changed slowly.

"There is the moment we need change. If we reach the finals, we will immediately change everything. Slowly, slowly."

Trapattoni is confident that the less than enthusiastic response from home fans to the football played by Ireland against Armenia will pass.

"I am sorry that we didn't give them the show but after two days, the show goes, but the result stays. Now they are happy we are in the play-off."