Keane pays tribute to 'improving' McGeady
ROBBIE KEANE has paid a warm tribute to Aiden McGeady as Ireland look to the Spartak Moscow star for inspiration ahead of the Euro 2012 clash with the country where he now plies his trade.
McGeady has impressed in his new surroundings and Giovanni Trapattoni has noted subtle improvements in the 24-year-old's game, in addition to noting a growing confidence.
Keane is a huge admirer of McGeady, having spent time with him at Celtic for the second part of last term, and feels he has really benefited from his £9.5m switch.
"I think you can see a maturity in Aiden," Keane said. "In the last year he's become an even better player than we've spoken of over the years. I've always said that I like Aiden as a player and I've got a lot of time for him as well. He's getting better and better -- and you can't forget that he's still only a young player."
Of course, a glaring omission from McGeady's CV is an international goal. He's already got off the mark for Spartak, but has failed to hit the mark in 34 Irish appearances.
Trapattoni has encouraged the player to drift infield and find opportunities, similar to how his replacement Keith Fahey found the right spot to grab the winning goal in Armenia. Keane admits that his pal is bursting to break his duck.
"Aiden can score goals because he has pace and the ability to beat players for fun," he said. "I know he's desperate to score a goal for Ireland and I'm sure he'll be especially hoping to do it against Russia."
So impressed is Trapattoni with McGeady's development that he now believes that, in time, he might be able to operate as a second striker.
"Before he went to Russia I said I'm not sure if it will be the country for him but after he went, maybe I think it has confirmed his good quality," he said.
"Before I came here, I thought also that maybe McGeady can play in future as a second striker because he is quick. Now when he has the ball, he is not afraid like I saw him first. He's more confident and is more calm."