No Plan B for Keane

09 September 2013 08:31

Robbie Keane has admitted the Republic of Ireland have not had a Plan B throughout his entire international career.

The 33-year-old striker is in line to win his 129th senior cap in Austria on Tuesday evening with Ireland's hopes of World Cup qualification hanging by a thread after Friday's 2-1 home defeat by Sweden.

That night, Giovanni Trapattoni's men took an early lead after launching a blitz, but they were ultimately unable to sustain the pressure and eventually succumbed.

Trapattoni's tactics and, in particular, his inability to change the game as it began to slip away from his team, proved to be the final straw for many of his critics, but Keane insisted Ireland have always played only one way during his 15 years or so in the team.

He said: "We talk about Plan A and Plan B and crap like that, but Ireland has never had a Plan B before. We have always had Plan A, it's as simple as that.

"Since I have been in the squad, we have played the exact same way. We don't have the personnel to, like Spain, get the ball down and have 80 per cent possession against teams. We are just not that team.

"But we know our strengths and we stick to them. Unless it changes, maybe from grass-roots - but it's not going to change for, certainly, a good few years.

"They keep talking in England about trying to change things and making the national team a lot better. In Ireland, we need to do that as well, but is it going to change straight away?

"It hasn't changed since I walked in that door the first day I got here, so I don't think it's going to change for a while."

Change has been the theme of the current campaign with Trapattoni having blooded the vanguard of what he hopes will be a new generation of players with Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy the main beneficiaries.

Source: PA