Keane rallies Ireland ahead of France clash

16 November 2009 01:05

Ireland striker Robbie Keane is not giving up on his country's World Cup dream, despite France having the edge going into Wednesday night's second leg qualifying encounter in Paris.

A deflected Nicolas Anelka effort wrapped up the game at Croke Park for Les Blues but the home side gave a good enough account of themselves to give their fans hope.

"We have got a chance, there's no question about that," the Tottenham Hotspur striker announced ahead of the Stade de France clash.

- Andrews: We can beat France in Paris

"It's not going to be easy but we have to believe [we can win]," Keane said, outlining the task ahead.

"We have to go there, we have to get a goal and hopefully we can get two and not concede."

Before the game at Croke Park, many commentators believed that Ireland needed a home clean sheet if they harboured ambitions of making South Africa in 2010.

However the 29 year old feels that is simply not the case. "If you look since the manager has come in, we have been solid away from home and very hard to beat," he said, adding that if the team do not believe that they can win in France "there's no point going there".

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni is planning no changes to his team as they prepare for the biggest game of the Italian's reign: "All the players played well. I don't have in my mind to change anything.

"The performance of (Damien) Duff and Lawrence was super,"  the former Juventus boss said.

Meanwhile, Ireland's bid will be aided by the news that both Eric Abidal and Jeremy Toulalan will not feature in Paris. Barcelona defender Abidal suffered a thigh injury during the first leg, while Toulalan (hamstring) missed the game altogether.

- David Brenchley

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44