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Robbie Keane: A win over the Faroes and three points more important than getting record number of caps

Updated: Friday, 07 Jun 2013 23:36 | Comments

Robbie Keane's hat-trick was the highlight as Ireland saw off the Group minnows
Robbie Keane's hat-trick was the highlight as Ireland saw off the Group minnows

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Robbie Keane admitted the achievement of becoming the Republic of Ireland's most capped player this evening played second fiddle in his mind to getting a three-point haul against the Faroe Islands.

Keane collected his 126th cap in the Republic's World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium to pass the record set by Shay Given, but the Los Angeles Galaxy striker said the most important thing for him was getting the victory.

And the 32-year-old ensured his side would be celebrating a triumph with a hat-trick, scoring in the fifth, 55th and 81st minutes to extend his tally as the Republic's record goalscorer:.

Keane explained: "All in all it's been a great occasion for everybody, glad it's over now. There was a lot of fuss before the game, the important thing obviously was concentrating on playing football, we did that and got the three points so everybody's happy.

"There was a lot of talk about getting the record caps but for me that was almost in the back of my mind, it was about playing the game and playing in the right manner and getting the right result for the team.

"For me it was just another game. Certainly it was a special occasion for everybody involved, my family, for me I was just concentrating on the game and getting the result for the lads."

The victory lifts the Republic up to third place in Group C on 11 points, level with second-placed Austria and five behind leaders Germany.

"There was a lot of talk about getting the record caps but for me that was almost in the back of my mind" - Robbie Keane

The Republic now face their two biggest challengers for second spot, Sweden and Austria, in their next two matches in September and Keane believes those could end up being decisive.

"It's a good thing we have to play Austria and we have to play Sweden, I think our main focus now is on ourselves rather than worry about the opposition," he said.

"We know exactly what we have to do, we have to win our games. The two games coming up are massive for us, it's probably make or break," he said.

Keane also had praise for Wes Hoolahan, who was making his first start in a green jersey and played a key role in the first two of the captain's goals.

"He's a fantastic footballer. He's clever, he's easy to play with.

"He suits me perfectly because he likes to get the ball into my feet and I think we linked up very well again tonight. He's been great and another great addition to the squad."

Standing less than six feet away, the Norwich man return the compliment

“His movement is fantastic and he's always there looking for the ball and he showed tonight what a great player he is." 

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