Keane: ‘We can’t afford to lose Moscow showdown’
CAPTAIN Robbie Keane has admitted tomorrow’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Moscow is a game the Republic of Ireland cannot afford to lose.
The LA Galaxy star told a press conference ahead of the game against Russia:
"It is a game we can't lose. We want to still be in the hunt when the last two games come around and it is vitally important we are in amongst it. There are nine points to play for. We're well aware of that.
"Our main focus is getting three points tomorrow and there is certainly a lot of games to play and anything can happen.
"I think our performances away from home, in this campaign and the last, have been very, very good.
‘’We are coming here with a lot of confidence. Of course it is always nice to come into a game on the back of a win but it wasn't the case. The most important thing is we didn't lose.
Meanwile, Stephen Kelly and Darren O’Dea have been called into the Republic of Ireland defence for the big clash.
Kelly replaces the John O’Shea, who withdrew with an injury at the weekend.
O’Dea comes in for the suspended Sean St Ledger, who was man of the match against Slovakia on Friday.
Giovanni Trapattoni has named an otherwise unchanged side for the match in the Luzhniki Stadium. kick-off 4pm (Irish time).
Aiden McGeady is again chosen over Stephen Hunt, who did well when he came off the bench at the Aviva Stadium with less than 10 minutes to.
Tomorrow’s game will be played on the artificial surface but Darren O’Dea, who experienced the pitch when Celtic played in Russia four years ago, is not concerned.
“We have known about it since the group was made, so there’s no point making excuses about it. It’s a massive game and whether it’s on grass or an artificial pitch, we need to win or get a result.
“I don’t think there’s much point in talking about it because at the end of the day, it’s three points and it’s three points we need.”
The team: Given; Kelly Dunne, O’Dea, Ward; Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady; Keane, Doyle.
- Independent.ie reporters