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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

'People have died for their country so we want our lads to put their bodies on the line'

Ireland’s assistant boss has been glad to see injured captain Seamus Coleman link up with the group ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier.

ROY KEANE IS hopeful that the presence of Seamus Coleman can give the Ireland players an extra boost ahead of Sunday’s clash with Austria.

The team’s captain is currently recovering from a double leg-break suffered in the draw with Wales back in March, but arrived into camp yesterday and will remain with the squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier in two days’ time.

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane Roy Keane alongside Martin O'Neill at training today. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“It’s nice to see Seamus around the place,” Ireland assistant boss said after today’s training session.

“He’s been in since last night and it’s good to catch up with him. It looks like his recovery is going well and he seems in good spirits so it’s nice to have him amongst the players.

“I think they’re all glad to see him. Unfortunately, he’s not available to play but hopefully he will be back in a few months. The important thing is that his recovery is going really well.”

The Everton full-back will be a significant loss to the side with Derby County’s Cyrus Christie due to fill in, but Keane added: “Seamus has got an injury but he will get over it, like lots of other players.

Nobody died. He broke his leg and that will heal. I think he’s in good hands with Everton and I’m led to believe the surgeons are really happy with how it’s gone so that’s good news.

“It’s nice to have him around the place and hopefully he will bring some positive energy to the group. He’s here for a few days and the game, it’s a pity he’s not able to play but whoever starts at right-back won’t let us down.”

Seamus Coleman Coleman watching on from the sidelines. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

With Ireland sitting joint-top of Group D with Serbia, and both Austria and Wales four points back at the halfway point, a home win this weekend would go a long way to securing at least a play-off place at the 2018 World Cup finals.

Having already beaten their latest opponents in Vienna and with Austria missing a string of first-team players, the Boys in Green are favourites to get a result and Keane is in no doubt that this group will be ready to go that extra mile.

“You want players playing on the edge and putting their bodies on the line, which players have done before — people like Seamus Coleman,” he said. “You have to be able to accept whatever goes on, like Seamus breaking his leg.

“People have done a lot more for their country than breaking their legs. People have died for their country so we want our lads to put their bodies on the line and give everything they’ve got.

“That’s my mindset when I’m working with a group of players. We’re going into battle on Sunday, be ready to put your body on the line like Seamus did. You’ve got to follow that.”


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Ben Blake

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