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Keane return a timely boost
Published : 15 Oct 2012 07:47:32
Robbie Keane could return to lead the fight to save Giovanni Trapattoni's job as the Republic of Ireland attempt to bounce back from their mauling by Germany.
Keane, who missed Friday night's 6-1 Aviva Stadium horror show with an Achilles injury, was aboard the plane which left Dublin for Torshavn ahead of the must-win clash with Group C minnows the Faroe Islands.
A spokesman for the Football Association of Ireland said: "Following training this morning (Sunday) in Gannon Park, Robbie Keane has been ruled fit to travel with the squad for Tuesday's match against the Faroe Islands."
The Los Angeles Galaxy striker, who scored his 54th senior international goal in the unconvincing 2-1 opening qualifier victory in Kazakhstan last month, might spare Trapattoni further punishment if he can lead his side to victory amid the growing tide of criticism which headed his way over the weekend.
Trapattoni has indicated he will make changes in the wake of Friday night's debacle, which was the Republic's heaviest ever defeat on home soil.
However, frontman Andy Keogh, who scored his side's consolation goal after coming on as a substitute, will not be one of the beneficiaries after being ruled out of the trip with concussion.
The FAI spokesman added: "Andy Keogh suffered a knock to the head in training on Saturday. He was observed overnight by the FAI medical team and has been ruled unfit to travel to the Faroe Islands this afternoon (Sunday) due to mild concussion."
Keane will win his 122nd cap if he is recalled and restore some of the experience to a side which sadly lacked that against the Germans. Full-back Seamus Coleman and midfielder James McCarthy were each winning just a seventh cap on Friday evening, while substitute Robbie Brady, whose corner led to Keogh's strike, was appearing for only the second time.
While Trapattoni had little choice but to accept the paucity of his side's performance, he was able to take solace from past results - admittedly, increasingly distant ones - and the emergence of a new generation of players.
"Maybe in my life I have lost only one time 6-1 - it was a derby in Milan. But there are games where everything goes wrong. It's possible," he said. "When you fail, it is no good being angry. You have to accept Germany were superior."