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Keogh is still hurting

IRELAND defender Richard Keogh says he’s had nothing but support since his Wembley disappointment with Derby County,

The Rams lost to QPR in the play-off final last Saturday with Keogh (pictured) at fault for the winning goal.

But there was little time for the defender to feel sorry for himself as he has since linked up with the Ireland squad and is line to start against Italy on Saturday, but he insists that he hasn’t been singled out for blame.

“It still hurts, it is still raw and I am obviously really upset. I think what made it worse for me was that this group of players are not just my team-mates, they are my friends as well, but the supporters have been absolutely terrific,” says Keogh.

“I have had a lot of texts - I don’t think my phone has stopped. It has nearly caught fire with the amount of people who have been saying things, and it really means a lot.

“I think you have seen that throughout the season, and at the game, the fans were absolutely fantastic and I like to think we did them proud. It is a great feeling when you get that connection with the fans.”

Keogh won his third senior cap in the defeat at home to Serbia in March and he hopes to get another runout in Saturday’s meeting with the Italians at Craven Cottage.