The news that Welsh wizard Gareth Bale is on course to be fit for Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Wales in Dublin on March 24 has come as no surprise to Roy Keane.
“I expected Bale to be fit,” said Ireland’s assistant manager at the launch of the new SSE Airtricity League season at the Aviva Stadium.
“I’d like to think he is getting some good medical care over there — he’s working with the best surgeons and fitness coaches. I see he is back kicking a ball but, to me, he was always going to be fit for our match and we will be ready for him. I won’t, but the players will.
“It seems a long way, of course, since our last match but we are the same as everyone else. We are really excited (about the Wales game). It’s nice to see some of our lads do well, week in week out. We can’t wait for the match.
“We have a bit of momentum but there is obviously added pressure because when you get a little bit of success, people automatically think you just turn up and win football matches. It doesn’t work that way. We are up against a very good team with some outstanding individuals. But Martin (O’Neill) has done a great job, we have a good spirit, a good energy in the group, we have some good players, and I think the fans are right behind us at the moment — obviously that can change really quickly, we all know that.
“But we are really looking forward to the match. Please God, all our lads stay fit for the next four/five weeks. The beauty of working with the players is that we know they will give it everything they’ve got. If the players do that then you always have chance.”
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