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Keane awaits final twist

06 Oct 2011 19:35:37

Keane awaits final twist

Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane is convinced there is another twist to come as the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign reaches the point of no return.

Ireland head into Friday night's Group B clash with Andorra knowing a maximum haul from that game and Tuesday night's visit of Armenia will guarantee them a play-off place at worst. However, should Slovakia beat leaders Russia in Zilina tomorrow evening, six points would send Giovanni Trapattoni's men to next summer's finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Keane said: "These two games are huge and we have come into them desperate to get the six points to guarantee the play-off. But I still think there is a twist here somewhere along the line - and I hope it's not for us. Hopefully, Slovakia can do us a favour."

He added: "We need to concentrate on our own job and getting six points, focus on tomorrow's game and getting three points and getting ourselves out of here and looking forward to Tuesday's game.

"At the start of the campaign, this is what you play for, to be in positions like this.

"Before the campaign, a lot of people would have probably accepted this, but there is still a little twist, I think."

The shoot-out in Slovakia kicks off before the Republic get underway in the Pyrenees, and while Keane knows avoiding news of what is going on in Zilina may prove difficult, he insists he and his team-mates cannot allow it to distract them.

Keane said: "Eventually, we will find out somehow, but it's important that we focus on what we are doing rather than looking at Slovakia and Russia.

"I am sure somewhere along the line, someone will say something to us, but it's important that the players focus on our own job at hand because by no means is this going to be a walk-over.

"It's going to be a tough game with the conditions and what have you, so we need to be totally 100% focussed on exactly what we have to do. That's the most important thing."


PA

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