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Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane with Fernando Torres, Spain. Picture: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane with Fernando Torres, Spain. Picture: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane with Fernando Torres, Spain. Picture: Sportsfile

ROBBIE KEANE returned to Los Angeles bursting with optimism after a rewarding three-week spell and already hungry for more action.

"From the last two weeks, we'll take a lot of positives. Obviously the main result (Faroes) went well, but before that the way the lads stuck together and bonded.

"I think we can dismiss this result against Spain a little bit in terms of it being against the best team in the world," said Keane.

"We can take a lot of positives from this game and from the last four games. We have to win the next two games – both of them."

Keane wasted no time in doffing his cap to mighty Spain and is already tipping them to walk away with the World Cup in Brazil next year.

"Easily the best in the world. We couldn't string a pass together because we couldn't get the ball off them. It's fairly simple to say they're the best team in the world.

"It was a good workout. It was important for the lads to play against these and to understand the game a little bit more. To gain a lot of experience."

Keane is enjoying the flush of new blood through the system and acknowledges the scale of change which has occurred since Poland a year ago.

"It's a completely different team. We showed a lot of energy without having the ball. We did well chasing and trying to stop them playing until they scored the first goal.

Energy

"We conducted ourselves very well with the energy we showed against Spain when we didn't have the ball. Of course you want to keep the ball but against them it's almost impossible," said Keane before crediting Stephen Quinn for the late surge which almost changed the game.

"He did very well. He kept the ball. The game opened up a small bit for us. Stephen was the orchestrator. He was getting the ball down and playing it."


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