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Keane still confident of qualifying

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane says his team remain ‘on course’ to finish second in their World Cup qualification group.

Goals from Marc Wilson, Jonathan Walters and Darren O’Dea, as well as an own goal, helped to ensure a 4-1 Irish victory over the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, and Keane believes that the performance is a result of unity within the camp and indicated that the squad would aim to progress.

“It was a big test for all of the players after Friday’s disappointing result,” Keane said of the 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany.

“It was important that we stood up for each other and we certainly did tonight.

“I’ve said it before, that it’s important we all stick together when you’re going through something like this, important that the whole team, that the whole squad is on board. Lads could easily have crumbled with the amount of pressure they’ve been under but fair play to them, they didn’t.

“Our aim now is to kick on and to beat the teams around us, Sweden and Austria. Our main objective is to finish second and we’re still on course to do that.”

Goalscorer Walters told reporters that it was ‘a great win’ for the team as it demonstrated their ability to respond positively to difficult circumstances.

“Of course it was difficult but I think we’ve shown we can bounce back. We’ve won 4-1 here and we could have got a few more,” he said.

“It was a great win for us, it was a difficult one for us but we won. Losing 6-1 is one of those results you’ve just got to deal with. As players, as a unit, as a squad – staff included – but we showed tonight we can deal with it.”

John O’Shea, meanwhile, believes that the Irish team displayed ‘character’ by defeating the Faroe Islands immediately after losing to Germany.

“We owed it to everyone, ourselves, the management, the fans,” said the Sunderland defender.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that we’ve put everything right because we’ve come and beat the Faroe Islands and scored a couple of goals but it’s a positive reaction. We showed a lot of character.

“We scored some good goals and the games coming up are something to look forward to. Yes we’ve let ourselves down once or twice in some of the big games but that’s when you have to hold your hands up, the opposition are very good. We’ve lot to build on there, there are lots of positives to take.”

Wed 17 Oct, 2012
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