Sport Soccer

Monday 19 March 2018

Mowbray tells youngsters to match Keane's drive

Jamie Holland

Tony Mowbray is hoping Robbie Keane's determination to succeed will rub off on his Celtic team-mates.

The Ireland captain showed why the Hoops are paying a reported £65,000 a week to borrow him from Tottenham with a brace at Falkirk on Sunday.

Manager Mowbray, though, was as impressed with Keane's team-work as he was with his goals -- which took his tally to five in seven games since moving to Scotland in January.

"Top players have that motivation inbred," Mowbray said. "That's part and parcel of being a top player.

"For some of our younger players, hopefully it will rub off. They will see that, if you are going to play at the top level anywhere in the world -- and Robbie has played all over the world -- that is something which has got to come from within.

"It's not something you can switch on and off on match-day. Another example would be Wayne Rooney. Whenever he plays, he runs around, tackles, chases and fights.

"That's driven from within, and Robbie wants to score goals, wants to help his team and his club. I was delighted with his performance at Falkirk."

Mowbray warned his crocked stars not to expect to walk back into his team when fit again. He was without Glenn Loovens, Jos Hooiveld, Thomas Rogne, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Diomansy Kamara, Niall McGinn and the suspended Scott Brown for the trip to Falkirk.

Next up is the Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Kilmarnock on Saturday and Mowbray claims to have been given "food for thought" by his fringe players at the weekend.

"The treatment room is full, as you could see with the team we had out against Falkirk, but we will wait and see," he said.

"I'm not sure how they are coming along. They will have to get their boots on in training next week at some stage to be in contention for the weekend.

"But what the victory over Falkirk has given me is food for thought. The ones who didn't play will have to fight to get back in the team if the team continues to win. Players will have to compete for their places."

Mowbray declared himself especially pleased with 19-year-old Josh Thompson, who fought out an intriguing battle against the powerful Enoch Showunmi.

"Josh grows in stature every day. He was playing against a big, strong powerful boy with a lot of experience and Josh is just a young boy."

Irish Independent

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