Keane adamant opportunity will be grasped

Keane adamant opportunity will be grasped

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane said he was intent on going for a win over France ...
14th Nov 2009

 

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane, while respecting the calibre of player in tonight's opposing line-up, is concentrating on leading his team to victory over France in the World Cup play-off first leg at Croke Park (8pm).

 

"We're not going to be sitting back," insisted Ireland's record goalscorer. "We have to get a hold on the game. It's important that we get right up for it and get excited, but it's also important to be calm and don't do anything stupid either, something we would probably regret. There are players who've never been in this situation before and, who knows, they may never have the opportunity they have now again.

 

"We know the jobs we have to do collectively as a group and that we have to try and stop those mistakes (such as conceding a late equaliser against Italy).

 

 

"If we have a repeat of Italy without the last goal tonight, it would be fantastic.

 

"It's an important night and we have to be excited but we can't be stupid, and go out all guns blazing and do something that we will probably regret. The passion will always be there but we have to be using our heads as well."

 

He added: "You look on paper at the players they (France) have; I mean, they have world-class players out of the squad. They can leave players like Patrick Vieira out of the squad. We can't do something like that, but we have desire and commitment."

 

One of French players definitely on show at Croke Park tonight is Vieira's former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry.

 

 

The captain of the France team broke Ireland's hearts four years ago by netting the winner in the World Cup qualifier between the nations at Lansdowne Road.

 

Now with Barcelona, the striker has predicted that a momentary incident, like the wonder-goal he curled past Shay Given on the September night in 2005, could have significance.

 

 

He said: "I don't know what is going to happen but, in these kind of games, always small details can make things happen and change the course of a game. Whoever it can be, that will do for me.

 

"We all know the reputation of Trapattoni and the respect we have for him. I don't know how he will prepare his team, but the respect is there."