ROY KEANE has warned Irish fans that there are "tough years" ahead as Ireland try to stay in the hunt for Euro 2016 qualification.
And while Martin O'Neill's assistant has admitted his fears about the age profile of the Republic's squad, he says he will accept what comes in the rest of the European Championship campaign, once the current side give it their all.
Next month's game against Scotland will define the rest of the group and Keane admits there are no guarantees that the side will make it to France 2016.
"It was a very difficult draw for us. It will be touch and go, we have to get a result against Scotland. But once we give 100%, what will be will be. If we get there, fantastic," Keane said at an event for Guide Dog Day.
"The players are not getting any younger, Robbie is 34 now, John O'Shea is 34, Shay Given is 64 now," he joked. "It's tough going and we have a tough few years ahead of us. But once the players have a go, that will do me."
Keane says he's still surprised at the fact that he's on the FAI payroll. "Not in a million years, to be honest, particularly give my one or two disagreements," he said when asked if he had predicted a role with Ireland.
"I am a good one for holding resentments, if people have wronged me. But I just thought this was a good way of going back and I love working with the Irish senior team. It's frustrating a little bit, as you might have eight matches a year, and I miss managing a bit at club level.
"It's hard work because we are short of players. We have only a small pool of players but we are having a go."