Keane: Robbie won’t let us down

Date published: Thursday 11th June 2015 2:45

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Keane, 34, suffered a family tragedy on Wednesday when a cousin died in a work accident in Dublin.

Alan Harris died suddenly while working in Dublin after inhaling poisonous fumes inspecting underground pipes and Harris’ brother Stephen was in intensive care after almost suffering the same fate in the work-related accident.

Ireland’s assistant manager Keane said LA Galaxy forward Robbie had managed to stay in a professional frame of mind ahead of Saturday’s crucial European Qualifier against Scotland.

Martin O’Neill’s assistant manager Keane said: “I don’t really know the ins and outs. But he has trained today, being the professional he is as you would expect, and as far as he’s concerned he’s focusing on the game.

“Murph (Daryl Murphy) is doing well, David McGoldrick, Shane Long – there are options up front and we’ll see in the next 24 hours, if there is no reaction to Robbie.

“He played the weekend, a bit of travelling, trained yesterday and today – today was a bit more intense for him – and the manager has a decision to be made.

“But if Robbie plays, like he has always done a 100-odd times, he won’t let us down.”

Keane, who has 65 goals to his name in 139 senior appearances for his country, has played just 169 minutes of football for LA Galaxy since the beginning of April because of a groin injury.

He was left on the bench for the first time in 13 years as the Republic lost 1-0 in Glasgow in the reverse fixture last November, will do a job if he is asked to start the crucial Group D encounter by O’Neill.

Ireland sit in fourth place in a competitive group, three points behind leaders Poland and two behind world champions Germany and Gordon Strachan’s men at the halfway stage.

Victory would keep O’Neill’s side in the hunt for one of the two automatic qualification places for France next summer.

Keane said: “We’re not daft, we know what’s at stake, but we’re ready for it. Pressure is part of the game. These are the games you look forward to.

“We had a couple of friendlies last week with the North and England and that’s all well and good, decent games for us, but that was like the foreplay. The action starts on Saturday.

“There are a lot of key decisions to be made, but that’s what we’re here for and what the manager is paid for. People keep talking the game up, but it’s a big game and we know that. Martin is experienced and hopefully we pick the right starting XI.

“There are lots of things to look at – who is carrying injuries, Robbie lacking match-sharpness – but it’s about making the right decisions.”

Watch Republic of Ireland v Scotland on Saturday on Sky Sports 1/5 from 4pm

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