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Keane warns Ireland against Estonia complacency

Published: Monday 14 November 2011, 20.07CET
The Republic of Ireland must do their job "properly and professionally" against Estonia − whom they lead 4-0 − in Tuesday's play-off second leg, says captain Robbie Keane.
by Aidan Fitzmaurice & Mikhail Malkin
from Dublin
Keane warns Ireland against Estonia complacency
Robbie Keane (right) at Monday's pre-match press conference ©Sportsfile

Tournament statistics

Republic of IrelandEstonia

Goals scored20
 
16
Total attempts120
 
165
Attempts on target57
 
61
Attempts off target48
 
86
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork1
 
0
Corners42
 
56
Offsides27
 
20
Yellow cards19
 
28
Red Cards1
 
3
Fouls committed176
 
185
Fouls suffered160
 
134
 
Published: Monday 14 November 2011, 20.07CET

Keane warns Ireland against Estonia complacency

The Republic of Ireland must do their job "properly and professionally" against Estonia − whom they lead 4-0 − in Tuesday's play-off second leg, says captain Robbie Keane.

Robbie Keane says skippering the Republic of Ireland to UEFA EURO 2012 would be one of the "proudest moments" of his career, but is taking nothing for granted against Estonia despite Friday's 4-0 victory in Tallinn.

"To lead this group of lads to this stage and hopefully get to the finals would be a great achievement," said the forward, on target twice in the play-off first leg. "Ireland means a lot to me. I turn up for every game and try my best every time, that's the way I was brought up."

Giovanni Trapattoni revealed at his pre-match press conference that LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena had contacted him to request that Keane be released ahead of the forthcoming MLS Cup final, but the striker insisted on remaining with Ireland. Keane added: "In football anything can happen, so we have to do our job properly and professionally. It would be disrespectful to leave the camp now − the job is not done yet."

Trapattoni will make three changes to the XI which won convincingly against the nine men of Estonia. John O'Shea is set to deputise for the injured Stephen Kelly at right-back while Aiden McGeady and Jonathan Walters will be replaced by Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle respectively.

Meanwhile, Estonia midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev is hopeful his side can bounce back from Friday's disappointment and go out on a high. "All of us want to play proper football and achieve a good result in Dublin," said the 27-year-old, who has scored five goals in qualifying. "We need to finish the campaign on a positive note, whether we qualify or not.

"The players and supporters deserve a good performance in the last match of the year and, who knows, maybe a victory too," he added. "Of course our chances are very small, but if it's possible to concede four goals why can't we score the same amount? It's important to score the first goal, and then anything can happen in football."

Those sentiments were echoed by Vladimir Voskoboinikov, a second-half substitute in the first leg, who also said they will be playing for pride in Dublin. "We now know how to play against them," said the 28-year-old forward. "We need to play more aggressively, more firmly and more impudently.

"Ireland are not a skilful team, they are battling team. It's very hard to get a decent result against them if you don't strive to win every ball. Of course we were looking for another result in Tallinn, so maybe the only thing left for us is to fight for our honour and our good name."

Last updated: 29/03/12 3.00CET

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