Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane is willing to endure a tense, tactical battle with Scotland on Saturday as long as his side get the right result.
ith the players and management on both sides being very familiar with each other, there is a danger that both teams may cancel each other out and a lapse in concentration or a moment of magic could decide it.
Shaun Maloney's strike was enough for the Scots to shade an even encounter at Celtic Park last Novemeber but the Irish assistant is hopeful that his side can get the result this time round to regain the initiative in Group D.
"We probably would have seen a bit of that in the first game. A lot of the lads would know each other, and the manager and staff. That can make for a cagey game which it probably was up in Scotland but it’s cagey on Saturday and we win the game then cagey’s fine by me.." he said.
Keane didn't agree with Aiden McGeady's assertion that Ireland had failed to reproduce training ground form on the pitch when it has really mattered.
"Nah, I think we’ve done okay. Listen I’ve worked with players who have been great on the training ground but who you know won’t be able to do that on matchday but I think that would be a bit harsh on these players, that they’re performing really well in training but not in games, I wouldn’t agree with that," he added.
"There is elements of that, I’ve seen it with players throughout my career where they’re good on the training ground but for some reason in front of big crowds or on big occasions it doesn’t quite happen but I think that won’t be a problem for our players in terms of the atmosphere, we just mentioned about five minutes ago, we’ve got players of vast experience.
"Shay Given, John O’Sheaa, Robbie, Glenn Whelan, They know these situations at club level and international level. They’ve played in big tournaments, big games at club level; I don’t think it’s a problem for them to perform, to produce that bit of quality."
Keane believes that Ireland may have another gear that they have yet to hit in their games thus far and is hoping we see it at the weekend.
"You hope so. You always think that in football. You always think there’s areas to improve on even if you get a good result," he continued.
"And as I say the mixture we have with the senior, experienced players and obviously Seamus and Robbie and the Jeff Hendricks of the world, hopefully they’ll step up and do the business."