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Robbie Keane has told his Republic of Ireland team-mates to relax as they prepare for Euro 2012

Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2012 13:34 | Comments

Robbie Keane: "It's important that the players stay relaxed up until that first game against Croatia. We can't get too tensed up."
Robbie Keane: "It's important that the players stay relaxed up until that first game against Croatia. We can't get too tensed up."

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Robbie Keane has told his Republic of Ireland team-mates to relax as they prepare to launch themselves into Euro 2012 battle.

The Republic squad left Dublin for their pre-tournament training camp in Montecatini this morning, two weeks to the day before they open their campaign against Croatia in Poznan.

Most of them have already been together for a week, and while training and yesterday's 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia-Herzegovina have been characterised by an impressive intensity, Keane has warned against peaking too soon.

He said: "It's important that the players stay relaxed up until that first game against Croatia. We can't get too tensed up.

"I mentioned before we played Estonia [in the Euro 2012 play-off] how relaxed the players were. As a player, me personally, I think the more relaxed you go into a game, actually the better you play.

"That's always been the case with me. If you are too hyped up and too desperate, you end up doing something stupid."

Keane continued: "The mood has been very relaxed, but saying that, the intensity in training in football terms has been brilliant."

Spirits were high as the players and manager Giovanni Trapattoni set off for the latest phase of their preparations, despite the absence of midfielder Keith Fahey, who last night finally had to admit defeat in his battle to recover from a groin injury and headed home, with Paul Green being drafted in in his place.

John O'Shea, Kevin Foley and Shay Given remain concerns, although the Aston Villa goalkeeper appears to be the least pressing of them, but Trapattoni's men emerged from yesterday's game with far more more positives than negatives.

Richard Dunne's torn abdominal muscle, which had prevented him from training during the early part of the week, had clearly healed as he turned in another imperious display to keep Edin Dzeko and Veded Ibisevic at bay.

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