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Sunday 17 December 2017

Scots clash will be brutal: keane

IRELAND'S Euro 2016 clash with Scotland next month will be a "brutal" affair, Roy Keane has predicted.

But the Ireland assistant manager feels that flagging public interest in the national side has been revived under Martin O'Neill with special moments like John O'Shea's equaliser in Germany getting fans back on side.

"I think it'll be brutal, intense, with plenty of tackles flying in," says Keane of the Scotland-Ireland game in Glasgow on November 14th, a return to Parkhead for Keane and Martin O'Neill.

"I'm not sure there will be much tactical and technical stuff, there'll be a lot of tension. There's tension already, you can feel it. It will be electric."

Keane, speaking at a public event in Dublin last night to plug his new book, believes that the feelgood factor is returning to the Ireland set-up.

"I know people have lost a bit of interest in the international team over the last few years, even towards the end of when I was playing. You hear a lot of negative stuff," Keane added.

"It's natural when the team has obviously struggled and we haven't qualified, people question where all these young players are coming from. But honestly, we have some decent lads coming through, and we've got to get the feelgood factor back.

"I know the reaction to the goal in Germany is what I remember growing up, watching Italia '90 and playing in '94.

"You've got to get that back, the reason Martin took the job and brought me on board is that we felt we could do that. But you need the players and we've got good players."

"I was just happy that we got over the halfway line to be honest," he joked when asked about his reaction to O'Shea's goal in Germany..

"The goal was a bonus. People go back to Irish spirit. We know that technically we're behind a lot of teams, particularly Germany, so you have to find something, that bit of spirit.

"Did we deserve it? Probably not, we were under the cosh but the biggest thing you can say to a team in any sport is to hang in there, to stay in the game. We gave ourselves a chance.

"We were never going to have loads of possession. Would I like to have 70% and 20 shots on goal? Of course.

"But we're not at that level just yet. Even with my time in Ireland, we struggled to retain the ball and that was part of the culture, I suppose. But don't think that after the game, when we were celebrating, that we were checking the stats and the possession."

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