Keane starts quest for success to match the memory of 2002
Saturday 06 September 2008
Robbie Keane will embark upon another World Cup qualifying campaign today insisting the memories of 2002 are firmly in the past. The 28-year-old announced himself on the world stage in the Far East six years ago as the Republic of Ireland survived Roy Keane's acrimonious departure to make a real impact on the competition.
However, while that experience will live with the Liverpool striker, he is hungry to taste it once again as he prepares for tonight's opening qualifier against Georgia. Keane said: "It's a long time ago, it's only a memory now. That's gone, that's the past. This is the future now and that starts with, hopefully, a good performance and a good result. In the first couple of games, it is important you get off to a good start. Psychologically, it stands you in good stead for the coming games."
By Wednesday night, Ireland will have played two of their 10 Group Eight games, and a positive start would give them a platform to mount a genuine bid to reach South Africa in 2010 after missing out on the last three World Cup and European Championship finals.
Keane said: "Every player wants to play in big competitions, and there is no bigger than the World Cup. I am very lucky, I have played in one and there are a few players who have played there. But there are a lot of players who haven't played there and I am sure they will be as desperate as the players who have played there before."
Republic of Ireland (probable, 4-4-2): Given; Finnan, O'Shea, Dunne, Kilbane; McGeady, S Reid, Whelan, Hunt; Keane, Doyle.
Also in Group Eight Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Italy, Montenegro.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Gregorz Krychowiak were all linked but Wenger and Gunners fail on deadline day
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans devastated as they become only team in top 5 European leagues not to sign outfield player
David De Gea: Manchester United in bitter war of words with Real Madrid over failed transfer
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
Tottenham completed transfers: Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier join but time's up for Paulinho and Etienne Capoue
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis