ROBBIE KEANE IS ready to lead Ireland into their final World Cup qualifier — provided he comes through tonight’s training session unscathed.
Captain Keane will win his 130th international cap if he features against Kazakhstan in the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland’s record goalscorer missed the defeat against Germany with a recurrence of an old Achilles’ problem but he returned to training yesterday and hopes he will be ready to lead the attack.
“I felt ok so I’ll train today and hopefully there’s no reaction from yesterday’s training,” Keane said.
“Hopefully I should be fit and ready for selection.”
The 3-0 defeat in Cologne ended Ireland’s slim chances of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil but there is more than pride at stake tomorrow night and a win would improve their chances of a favourable seeding when the draw for the next European Championship qualifiers is made.
John O’Shea and Richard Dunne are both available following suspensions but once again, interim manager Noel King chose to withhold the announcement of his starting XI until closer to kick-off.
Although he dropped few hints about his selection, King praised the performance against Germany and said that it left him in a tricky position when it comes to making changes.
“It’s a very difficult thing because the boys have given so much, haven’t they?” he said.
“They have been flat out in pursuit of maybe a 2-1 or a 2-2 and it just didn’t happen for them. That was a great effort that they’ve given so to just dismiss that effort and make changes is huge.
“It’s a huge challenge for me but if that’s what’s required, I’ll do it.”