Robbie Keane insists Ireland can bounce back from their poor showing in Kazakhstan last night by beating Germany in their next World Cup qualifier.
Ireland put on arguably their worst performance of Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign yesterday when they edged to an undeserved 2-1 win over eastern European minnows Kazakhstan.
The former Soviet Republic, ranked 116 places below Giovanni Trapattoni’s side, took the lead through captain Kairat Nurdauletov and missed a couple of good chances before Keane and Kevin Doyle rescued the visitors with two goals in the last two minutes.
Next up for Trapattoni’s men after Tuesday’s friendly against Oman is a World Cup qualifier against Germany on October 12 in Dublin.
Keane admits his team must up their game if they are to beat the Germans, but the skipper insists victory over the Group C favourites is not beyond the men in green.
“We’re always confident of winning against anyone at home, regardless of who they are,” Keane said.
“Germany are the favourites and are probably a better team than we are but if we give it everything we can get the win.
“It will be a completely different game. Germany will want to come out and try to win the game whereas Kazakhstan sat back and defended as one. We will be at home in front of our fans as well so it will be a good opportunity for us.”
The pressure on Trapattoni would have intensified to a new level last night had it not been for Keane and Doyle’s last-gasp strikes.
The 73-year-old Italian came under fire for leading the Republic through a dreadful Euro 2012 campaign and his man management skills have since been put under scrutiny following Darron Gibson’s refusal to play and James McClean’s strongly-worded tweet, which appeared to be directed at Trapattoni.
Having endured a long trip across half the planet to get to Astana, Los Angeles Galaxy striker Keane is just happy to have snatched the win despite all the controversy engulfing the squad.
Keane now hopes the team can build on the victory and once again prove the doubters wrong.
“It wasn’t a good performance but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. We have three points on the board,” Keane added.
“We had the same situation last time around when we played Armenia (during Euro 2012 qualification).
“We won the game and people said it wasn’t a good performance. It wasn’t, and I think it’s going to be the same for us with what happened in Kazakhstan.
“Kazakhstan is going to be a tough place for teams to come – to play in those conditions on that Astroturf pitch after such a big flight and time difference, I’m sure teams will find it hard here.”
McClean put his international future in jeopardy by venting his anger at being omitted from the side on Twitter last night.
He wrote: “delighted as a fan we got the win. Personal level #fuming #f*****joke #embarrassing’.”
It was removed from Twitter shortly after, but Trapattoni is aware of the rant and may now kick the Sunderland winger out of the squad for Tuesday’s friendly against Oman at Craven Cottage.