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European Qualifiers Group D

Long ready to replace Keane

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long says he is not fazed by the challenge of replacing record Irish goalscorer Robbie Keane.

Last Updated: 06/03/14 at 16:13 Post Comment

Shane Long: Is ready to replace Ireland striker Robbie Keane

Shane Long: Is ready to replace Ireland striker Robbie Keane

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Long replaced Keane, who was away signing a new contract extension with LA Galaxy, in Wednesday night's friendly against Serbia, and claimed his 11th Ireland goal in the 2-1 loss at the Aviva.

Keane's 131 appearances for his country have yielded a staggering 62 goals but Long is looking forward to the challenge of replacing the 33-year-old if called upon by Ireland manager Martin O'Neill.

The 27-year-old Hull forward said: "I have been here a long time and I have been biding my time, waiting for my chance to come and learning every time I come into the squad.

"I'm sure if the gaffer sees me as a viable option, I'm ready to take that, I'm ready to jump in.

"Wearing that green jersey is a privilege for anybody, so I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"I am going back to Hull now and I'll try to get the confidence back and keep scoring goals and come here in the summer still a Premier League player."

Long himself has 44 senior caps to his name and O'Neill has hinted he could have a significant role to play in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign that starts in September.

But with Keane having also committed himself to the quest to reach the finals of another major tournament, Long will have the opportunity to continue to learn from the nation's record international goalscorer.

Long said: "Robbie's record is unbelievable and I don't think it will ever be touched.

"But I can learn from him as well. He's brilliant to have in and around the squad because he talks to us as well in training and helps us out, and he's a really good captain.

"Obviously the gaffer didn't have him here and went with me up front, and hopefully I gave him something to think about."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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