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Keane still hungry as ever

IRELAND skipper Robbie Keane has insisted his Hollywood adventure will not lessen his hunger for success on the international stage.

The 31-year-old LA Galaxy striker flew back into Dublin earlier this week to begin preparations for Friday night's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovakia but is adamant the glamour of life in Los Angeles will not deflect him from the task of attempting to lead his country to next summer's finals in Poland and the Ukraine.

Keane said: "That's not going to change. Just because I'm 10 hours away on a flight, it's certainly not going to change my desire to play for my country. I had the same desire as I have now when I was 17 and the same commitment, so for me, it's no different."

He added: "I will just continue doing what I have been doing for the last 10 years, and that's scoring goals. My record probably speaks for itself, so I'll continue to do that. In the last two years, I have scored a lot of goals in the campaign, so I will just keep trying to do what I do for Ireland and do what I do best by scoring goals."

Keane has made just two appearances to date for his new club, scoring in the first in a dream start, and admits he is yet to get to grips with life on the other side of the Atlantic.

He said: "It just happened so quickly, so I can't really remember too much of it. I was off the plane and basically playing. It's been so quick. I have been there only a week or so. Obviously, the weather is a little bit better than over here."

Asked if he had come across the likes of Brad Pitt or George Clooney yet, he replied: "No, not yet. I'll let you know when I do."

However, all that matters to Keane for the next five days or so are crucial Group B clashes with Slovakia and Russia, who await Ireland in Moscow on Tuesday evening. All three sides are currently tied on 13 points at the top of the table, and Keane is only too aware of what is at stake.

He said: "The feelings are obviously very, very high that we have a real chance of qualifying from the group. If you look at the way the teams are, we are up there and that's the most important thing.

"These two games are going to be massive in the next five days and it's important that we try to get maximum points and if not, not to lose any games. These two games will dictate whether we qualify or not.