herald

Friday 18 August 2017

Roy Keane: I'd love to be playing in this game

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane

ROY Keane is getting ready for an intense, high-paced battle against Poland at the Aviva and he would love to be pulling on his own boots on Sunday.

"I think it will be an intense game, I think it will be fast-paced, I don't think it is in Poland's make-up to just keep it at the back too long. It will be a physical challenge," said Keane.

"Put it this way, it's one of these games that wish I could play in. That's the way I look at it. You can sense it, I know it's still early in the week but come Friday and Saturday, I think everyone in the country will know there's a big game coming up for the country."

READ MORE: Roy Keane: Players have to step up

Keane refuses to buy into the notion that Poland's position at the head of the Euro 2016 qualifying statistics is a surprise and flatters them.

"Statistics? Do you want to go down the road of statistics with me? Possession and shots on goal don't win football matches," said Keane.

"They got a great result in Germany and I'm not surprised. I've watched them a few times over the years, I've done some work in England when they were in England's group and it has not surprised me where they are in the table."

The nature of the game means that Ireland must be at their very best and Keane expects nothing less from the players.

READ MORE: Keane calls for players to step up into leadership roles

"We're working with senior international players and they've got to get switched on themselves, whatever motivates them and make sure they don't switch off particularly in set pieces where lads can turn their back on it or just think, I've done my job'."

Keane sees the Poland game as a perfect opportunity to restore Lansdowne Road as a venue feared by even big teams.

"It used to scare the home team!" he laughed. " If you want to do well in any campaign you have to have a decent home record. I'm guessing a lot of teams have come here and enjoyed the Aviva but it's up to us to be on the front foot and get the fans behind us."

"The atmosphere will be brilliant but it cant just come from the fans, it has to come from the players too. But we will be making tackles. creating chances and putting bodies on the line and that will get fans right behind us."

"The old Lansdowne was brilliant, always a great atmosphere but in terms of the atmosphere for Sunday? That's the least of our worries. That will take care itself, I think it will be electric," claimed Ireland's No. 2.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News