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Time to stake a claim for Euro 2016

ROY Keane threw the door wide open for every player in the Ireland squad to nail down a place in Martin O’Neill’s Euro 2016 plans over the next three weeks.

I think you’re always doing that. When you’re playing matches, you’re trying to impress the manager so it’s an important few weeks for the players that are here and the lads who will meet up next week,” said Keane.

“It’s always important when you’re playing football matches. September is still a long way away, but hopefully lads will leave a good impression.”

Anthony Pilkington is clearly a player both O’Neill and Keane have time for and fits the profile of frustrated but eager to impress nicely.

“Anthony Pilkington didn’t train. He’s gradually getting back into it. The problem for Anthony is getting that run of games under his belt, getting his fitness levels up. It seems to be stop, start, but from what we’ve seen of him, he’s obviously a talented boy,” said Keane who sees goals in the Norwich City winger.

“You need a goal threat. You need goals from your midfielders. There’s been a lot of pressure on Robbie, I suppose, over the last 10 years to get the goals.

“You need other lads to contribute. If you’re playing at a certain level, you should have a goal in your locker.”

With James McCarthy ruled out, David Meyler has a real chance to put his mark on one midfield slot and Keane reckons he could be involved against Turkey.

“He had a tight calf so he sat out yesterday. Fingers crossed he might be OK tomorrow. As usual, we won’t be taking any chances. We’ll see over the next 24 hours,” said Keane.