14 Oct. 2012 | News

Keane fit to travel to the Faroe Islands

Robbie Keane today handed under-pressure Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni a boost when he boarded the plane for the Faroe Islands.

The 32-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy striker missed Friday night's 6-1 drubbing by Germany, after which the country's patience with the 73-year-old Italian appeared to have worn dangerously thin.

However, having tested his Achilles injury in training in Malahide this morning, Keane was among the party which jetted out to Torshavn ahead of Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier.

It is a game Trapattoni has already admitted is a must-win affair.

A spokesman for the Football Association of Ireland said: "Following training this morning in Gannon Park, Robbie Keane has been ruled fit to travel with the squad for Tuesday's match against the Faroe Islands."

However, the news was not all good for the manager when it emerged that Andy Keogh, who scored the Republic's consolation goal against the Germans after coming on as a substitute, would be unable to join his captain after suffering concussion in a training-ground collision yesterday.

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 due to mild concussion."

Trapattoni fastened his seat belt having challenged his players to produce a swift response in the Faroes to get their Group C campaign back on track.

The fall-out from the German debacle has left the veteran manager in little doubt that his detractors are growing in both number and volume, and worse could follow if he returns from Torshavn without three points.

Equally a victory might placate, for the time being at least, some of those who are not yet fully convinced that the time has come for change.

Trapattoni and his players headed out of Dublin still licking their wounds after their merciless mauling at the hands of the Germans, but determined to put things right at the earliest opportunity.

Ireland launched their Group C campaign with an unconvincing victory in Kazakhstan last month, and while a lacklustre display that night set alarm bells ringing for some, the manager was not among them.

He said: "It was very difficult to recover psychologically after the Euros, but against Kazakhstan, which was not an easy game, and in the friendly against Oman, we had a very important reaction.

"We need our enthusiasm, mentality, attitude and belief in this situation.

"Against Kazakhstan, we played well, not badly. Have you reviewed the DVD? I have reviewed it many, many times and we deserved to win.

"We are not at the top of the world rankings, but we have slowly, slowly recovered the position in the rankings, we have also changed the players and we have a new generation now."

Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, who started Friday night's game, are perhaps the trail-blazers of that new generation, while there are high hopes for Manchester United winger Robbie Brady, whose last-gasp corner after coming on as a substitute led to Keogh's strike.

Just how those youngsters were affected psychologically by a brutally-delivered lesson in international football remains to be seen, and it will be down to Trapattoni and his coaching staff to soothe bruised egos and rebuild confidence ahead of a fixture which will be key to their hopes of mounting a genuine bid to make it to Brazil in 2014.

However, Trapattoni sees little point in reading the riot act to his players.

He said: "When you fail, it is no good being angry. You have to accept Germany were superior.

"I can talk about the little details - we conceded the first goal because we let a player run in behind.

"In the past, our players have not made these mistakes, but you can forget this and concede a goal.

"I can't be angry with my players. I have to re-charge the batteries because we need their enthusiasm and their energy for the next game on Tuesday."