Monday 26 February 2018

Keane turns his attention to crucial Lansdowne test

Keane: Wants to build on result
Keane: Wants to build on result
David Kelly

David Kelly

Robbie Keane last night warned that Ireland's creditable point in Stockholm will be worthless unless it is followed with a win against Austria on Tuesday at Lansdowne Road.

Ireland may have temporarily slipped into fourth place in the Group C standings, but victory against the dangerous Austrians could strengthen their claim to a second-placed finish behind runaway leaders Germany.

"We want to get the three points on Tuesday, it's vital in the home games to get the three points," declared Keane, unconcerned at his 75th-minute withdrawal after a selfless shift of tireless running, much of it away from the opposition goal.

"I'm sure it will be a different approach on Tuesday. It's between the three of us for second place. It's going to be very tough and we all know that. It could go to the very, very end. Hopefully we can come out on top.

"We're targeting four points from these two games and we have to move on. Nobody deserved to get the three points tonight, there were a few half-chances for either side, nothing too much.

"The way we played from start to finish was superb but we need to move on to Tuesday's game. It will probably have to be a little different approach than what we had tonight but we're certainly happy with our efforts in this one."

Keane dismissed the farce surrounding Giovanni Trapattoni's team selection, insisting that the result overrode any concerns about the pre-match panto.

"It's one of those things. If you lose the match, questions will be asked," he said. "The fact that the players who came in and the way they played ... James McCarthy was superb, the energy he showed was incredible. The whole team can keep the head up high because it was a good performance.

"For such a young inexperienced team to come here against a very experienced Swedish team, you have to give them credit for that," Keane continued.

"We didn't let Sweden play. They weren't bad, we just executed our game plan well and we should get the credit for that."

Wes Hoolahan even got his 15 minutes of fame, with a first ever competitive appearance for his country and, with Ireland needing to attack more on Tuesday, he reminded the manager of the qualities that have been neglected for so long.

"Hopefully I'll be involved on Tuesday," said the Norwich City star.

Irish Independent

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