Stephen Ward hopes that home form can carry the Republic of Ireland through their UEFA EURO 2016 campaign following Friday's 1-0 defeat in Scotland. Ireland have three of their away games out of the way, and their next two are at home – against Poland and Scotland. They will be key says the defender …
It's going to be really tight and we've had three tough away games now, so I think our home form is going to determine how we do. We have to look to the home games now. At the minute it hurts that we didn't come here and get a result.
We can't be too disheartened; we've played three tough away games. We were very close to taking something from here. Eight points from four would have been an unbelievable return. But, you know, we're right in the group and Scotland have to come to Dublin. We've got plenty of home games left and that's the main thing to look at."
Robbie Keane is excited at the prospect of a return to Celtic Park in his role as Republic of Ireland captain, as the Dubliner enjoyed a successful loan spell with Celtic FC in 2010. "Coming from London, getting off that plane and coming to Celtic Park, with 5,000 people there is one of the best feelings you could ever get as a player," said Keane ahead of tonight's UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier in Scotland. "Just walking out at Celtic Park and putting on that green and white jersey, from start to finish for me the experience was great, I enjoyed every minute of it."
Keane scored 12 goals in 16 Celtic games and hopes his form at Celtic Park will augur well for tonight. "In the past that has helped me so I hope that if I get the opportunity it will be the case as well," he said of his record of scoring on his old stamping grounds.
|2010/12||Final tournament - Group stage||15||7||4||4|
|1998/00||Play-off for Final Tournament||10||5||3||2|
|Full UEFA competition record|
|UEFA European Football Championship||119||47||34||38|
|FIFA World Cup||142||53||46||43|