Monday 18 December 2017

'I spoke to Robbie...he has no intention of retiring' - Kevin Doyle


Kevin Doyle and (right) Robbie Keane
Kevin Doyle and (right) Robbie Keane
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Doyle believes LA Galaxy should hand Robbie Keane a new contract, after he told that his former Republic of Ireland strike partner is determined to extend his goal laden career.

Doyle's Colorado Rapids side ended Keane's hopes of a fourth MLS Cup title as they secured a dramatic penalty shoot out win in last Sunday's play-off showdown, sparking suggestions that  Keane and his LA Galaxy team-mate Steven Gerrard were set to hand up their boots.

Keane's latest Galaxy contract is set to expire imminently and there have been no announcements over a fresh deal, with his presence on the substitutes bench for his side's biggest game of the season last weekend suggesting his star is waning with the Californian club.

Yet Doyle believes 36-year-old Keane could still be a potent performer in MLS next year, if he steers clear of injuries that have blighted his progress in recent months.

"I spoke to Robbie after the game on Sunday and he has no intention of retiring," Doyle told us in an exclusive interview.

"He feels he has plenty to offer and when you look at the form he was in at the start of this season, scoring goals and looking as good as ever, I'm sure he can play one for another year.

"If he doesn't stay at Galaxy, he could move to another club in MLS and he will not want to go on on a defeat like he had on Sunday. I don't think we have seen the last of Robbie Keane."

Doyle also revealed that Keane was in line to take the fifth penalty in the shoot-out that decided Sunday's play-off game in Colorado, but the result was decided before the Dubliner got the chance to step up and face Rapids keeper Tim Howard.

Doyle is now in Dublin after linking up with the Ireland squad for the first time since he was left out of the Euro 2016 squad and he is relishing the prospect of playing a part in Martin O'Neill's plans for Saturday's World Cup qualifier in Austria.

"It is great to meet up with the lads again and we are all looking forward to the game," he adds.

"When you look at the group we are in, everyone will believe they have a real chance to qualify. There are no outstanding teams and we fancy our chances of getting a positive result in Austria.

"I'm sure they are looking on a game against Ireland as a chance to get three points, but there is a lot of confidence in this squad after the start we have had to the qualifiers."

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