MARCO TARDELLI EXPECTS captain Robbie Keane to be fit to lead the line in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Germany.
Keane sat out today’s training session in Malahide, giving rise to fears that he might have picked up an injury during the squad’s workout on yesterday.
But Tardelli brushed off concerns about the striker’s health and explained that Keane was feeling the after-effects of a heavy challenge from Paul McShane.
“It’s just a knock,” the Italian said. Asked if he had any doubts that Keane would be ready in time, Tardelli said: “Now, no, because I spoke to the doctor. He told me everything is ok.”
With manager Giovanni Trapattoni looking increasingly likely to use Keane as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation against the Germans, the 32-year-old’s fitness is of particular concern this week. Keith Andrews asked to sit out the training match at the end of today’s session but Tardelli said that the Bolton midfielder had taken full part otherwise and is fit.
Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood returned after training alone yesterday while U21 international Conor Clifford joined the panel following his call-up late on Tuesday evening.