With Jeff Hendrick still in the shake up for Copenhagen, Roy Keane was happy to discuss the in-form Burnley midfielder.

However thoughts of those not in Abbotstown this week for whatever reason are not occupying too much of Keane's time as he focuses on the players available to himself and manager Martin O'Neill.

The Republic of Ireland assistant boss is not "overly worried" about the fitness of Hendrick, despite the midfielder sitting out training on Tuesday as he requires a scan on a glute injury.

Stephen Ward also missed the session – "he’s looking after his knee a little bit" - but there’s no major concern over the defender, who was given a rest having come through an intense period of football with Burnley.

Ireland face Denmark on Saturday night in the first leg of the World Cup qualifier, with James McCarthy and Richard Keogh joining Jon Walters on the absentee list, and David Meyler suspended for the first leg in Copenhagen.

They face a nervy wait on a Hendrick update; though Keane is relaxed.

"I’m not overly worried," he said. "Come Thursday or Friday if he’s not training, yeah. He’s a bit sore.

"He got 65 minutes at the weekend you’ll probably get an update maybe tomorrow from the manager."

Keane said he’s braced for a bruising battle on Saturday night that will demand another showing of undiluted commitment from the players.

Describing any discussion about the men who won’t be available as "pointless", he also expressed his confidence that the group, so desperate to make Russia, will live with the pressure.


"It’s all part of the game, I don’t really waste in my own mindset too much time and energy on players who aren’t here.

"With the setbacks we’ve had with injuries and suspensions, the lads have come in and done a good job. We’ve regrouped and gone again.

"It’s almost pointless talking about the lads who aren’t there and not available; just focus on the lads who are here. I’m pretty sure the lads who start and come off the bench will not let the country down.

"It will be physically a tough game, mentally tough, a lot of pressure on both players but this is what we play for. We’ll be focused, we’ll be ready and the players will give everything for their country."

Reserving special praise for Cork City, who claimed the double on Sunday with a dramatic penalty shootout defeat of Dundalk in front of the watching Keane, the No 2 added: "Brilliant, it was a really good game. It was tough on Dundalk but I really enjoyed the occasion. They did brilliant, really brilliant for Cork."