Monday 19 February 2018

Keane: no conspiracy

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

ROBBIE KEANE has moved to quash conspiracy theories surrounding his late dash to London to take part in Tuesday's friendly with Brazil, writes Daniel McDonnell.

The on-loan Celtic striker was ruled out of the game on Sunday after his participation in the Old Firm defeat to Rangers and Giovanni Trapattoni subsequently named Leon Best in his starting XI to partner Kevin Doyle.

However, on Monday evening, the FAI issued a statement saying that, after a medical review, the Irish skipper was on his way to London to earn a 97th cap. There has been speculation that match organisers, Kentaro, were anxious to have Keane present, but the Spurs exile insists that he made the call after waking up on Monday with swelling gone down on his knee.

"We were thinking it was going to react worse than it did," Keane said. "I didn't train all week last week. I was out of the game because the club felt I wouldn't be right.

"But on Monday I saw the physio and the knee was fine. There was no reaction, no swelling, no fluid and I got the go-ahead to come down. There was no hidden agenda, and I got through no problem. I needed the 90 minutes. People made a bigger thing out of it than it was."

Keane had no qualms about replacing Best in the starting team and Trapattoni said the Newcastle man was fine with the situation, hinting that if that wasn't the case then he wouldn't have been introduced as a substitute.

"When I named the team, I said I was only 90pc sure," said the Irish boss. "When Robbie was ok, then Robbie must come back (into the team). Leon Best is young and he must improve. Nobody in life gives you anything for free."

Irish Independent

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