Draw leaves Keane confident

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane believes their goalless draw with Sweden on Friday will give his side a massive boost.

Last Updated: 23/03/13 at 18:14 Post Comment

Robbie Keane: Confident following goalless draw at Sweden

Robbie Keane: Confident following goalless draw at Sweden

Ireland dominated the opening 20 minutes at the Friends Arena before superb saves from Millwall's David Forde helped to hold the Swedes off to claim a valuable point in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Despite slipping to fourth in Group C, Keane believes Ireland can head into Tuesday's home tie with Austria with confidence.

Keane said: "We can take a lot of credit from this game.

"We had an inexperienced team compared to Sweden, who had senior players who have been around a long time.

"We have got a lot of younger players coming through and I think that showed with the energy we had from start to finish. We showed a lot of heart and I am delighted with that.

"I felt quite comfortable. Usually you are a bit nervous but I felt comfortable.

"They certainly didn't deserve to get a goal because overall I felt we were the better team."

Keane, who is just two appearances short of equalling Shay Given's record 125 caps, praised his side, and in particular Wigan midfielder James McCarthy.

"We made three changes. With the energy we showed and all the running around we did, it was only right we did change it," he said.

"There is no way we would have gone 90 minutes doing that amount of running.

"James McCarthy was great. I thought he was the one pushing on, running up against them. He stopped them from playing.

"You can't praise our midfielders enough. We addressed before the game how to play with the extra man, with me coming back with James and Greeny, and how to make it difficult for them. We certainly did that."

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lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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