Monday 22 January 2018

Keane refuses drop down to Championship as he waits for top-flight offer

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

ROBBIE KEANE is sure he will be back scoring goals in the Premier League this season, insisting that his confidence has remained high despite a period of rejection at Tottenham.

The Irish captain expects to move on before the close of the transfer window, but reckons it will be at least another week before any developments on his situation.

Keane, a transfer target for Blackburn, says he is yet to turn down any approaches, but has ruled out the prospect of dropping down to Championship level.

And the 31-year-old's belief in his own capabilities is strong ahead of a period where Ireland need him at concert pitch.

The Tallaght man claims that falling out of Harry Redknapp's plans hasn't affected him mentally.

"I am confident in my own ability and I am not being arrogant or big-headed but I know if I get chances, I will score goals," said Keane.

"It's always been like that since I was a young kid. You just have to be mentally strong at all times.

"I've scored a lot of goals for Spurs but if my time's up, my time's up. I haven't got a problem.

"Anyone in life, you have to work hard at what you are doing and the harder you work, the more beneficial it will be to you."

Keane (pictured) is worn down by questions about his future at this juncture. He admitted that he is used to that line of questioning. He also challenged the theory that he is reluctant to move outside London.

"I don't know where this story comes from -- I've never said that," he said. "I'm happy to go anywhere to play regular football.

"I've had questions for the past 12 years. Every summer there is speculation, so I'm not really too bothered about it.

"There are a couple of weeks left and it is likely I will be going but at the moment I don't have the answer as to where. I am not being disrespectful to the Championship, but if I have got the option of a Premier League club I am obviously going to take that.

"I haven't turned down anything, but a few people are talking to the club and that is really all I can say. I'm sure it will be sorted."

Probable teams

Ireland -- Given, Kelly, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward; Duff, Whelan, Gibson, Hunt; Long, Keane.

Croatia -- Pletikosa, Srna, Corluka, Simunic, Strinic; Mandzukic, Vukojevic, Modric, Kranjcar, Eduardo, Olic.

Irish Independent

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