Put bodies on line for Ireland, orders Keane

Cheryl Sanders
June 10, 2017

James McClean has been backed to further enhance his global reputation when the Republic of Ireland head into their World Cup qualifier with Austria tomorrow.

"Jon was our talisman in our European qualifications and unfortunately picked up an injury before the big competition started - he was injured in training", he said.

"I think they're all glad to see him".

"I think the players are in good spirits, they mindset so hopefully we go out and produce moments of quality". "We really have to start strongly in the game", he said.

Keane said: "Any attacking player in a team has to have a goal in his locker and now with the one or two chances that he has got in the last few games".

But Keane has brushed aside talk of players who will not be involved on Sunday - Austria boss Marcel Koller could be without six of the men who started the 1-0 defeat to Ireland in Vienna in November, while full-back Andreas Ulmer will be missing because he is getting married. He said his Stoke City teammate Marko Arnautovic is a big loss for the visitors but he said: "Sometimes it's the players who are sitting in the background but are a little bit unknown who are unsafe".

"I think what he means is that you have to have a real strong mentality, be ready for it, be ready to battle through the game, because qualification matches are exactly that, they are tough games to play in and it's really hard work".

"There are teams up there fighting for it, so we'll reassess come tomorrow evening".

"To borrow one of Roy's phrases, he's a great warrior for us but more than that, his great ability helped us immensely".

"But I have also been in the business long enough to think positive".

This is a public call to the players, which is a damn important game, we have to be ready and focused from the first minute of the camp.

Summing up what's at stake at the Aviva tomorrow, the manager said: "There's obviously a big three points for both countries". Now we've crossed the halfway stage, tomorrow starts the second half of the tournament for us, and we just have to try to grab these points.

"We just have to make sure we get back on track and things will get better again and discussions will stop".

"Austria have the capability of causing us all sorts of problems and we have to be on front foot if we can, but also aware of their risky players".

He said: "If you look back, there have already been many situations in my career where I have felt some pressure".

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