Friday 28 October 2016

Robbie concern as skipper sits it out for LA

MARTIN O'Neill will seek an injury update from LA Galaxy later today after Robbie Keane sat out the weekend's action with his MLS club, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

Galaxy drew 2-2 away to New England Revolution last night, a game refereed by Corkman Alan Kelly, but Keane wasn't even in the match-day squad for Galaxy. The Ireland captain had recently returned from a seven-game absence due to a groin injury and had made two sub appearances, a relief for O'Neill.

Reports suggest that Keane was rested by Galaxy boss Bruce Arena due to concerns over the impact that playing on the artificial surface last night might have had.

"We've had a lot of injuries on turf this year. I think that if your body is not conditioned it's difficult," said Arena.

O'Neill has yet to confirm how he plans to use Keane but it's likely that the captain will be allowed to miss next Sunday's friendly with England in Dublin so he can feature for his club next weekend and then report to Dublin for duty ahead of the Scotland game on Saturday week.

Meanwhile, Scotland boss Gordon Strachan says he has no plans to play for a draw in that qualifier. "I don't know if I've ever seen Martin putting out a team with a defensive set-up and I can't remember me ever putting out a team saying: 'A draw will do us'," he said.

"Because you don't know if a draw will do you. You might go for one and it's not good enough. But I know for a fact if you pick up three points and keep picking them up then that will be good enough to qualify."

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