Tommy Dickson/INPHO Keane at the Aviva Stadium during the open training session earlier this week.
# Under no illusions
Keane: 'Do you think, for one second, we're going to underestimate anybody? Forget about it'
‘If I was in the Austria camp, I’d be looking forward to playing Ireland,’ says Ireland’s number two.

ALL THE SIGNALS are pointing to three points for Ireland on Sunday.

Since the current management team took over in November 2013, the Boys in Green have gone unbeaten in competitive matches at home — winning five (including the famous victory over world champions Germany) and drawing three.

An eight-game winless run against Austria, which spanned over 53 years, was brought to an end last November thanks to James McClean’s thunderbolt at the Ernst Happel Stadium.

Robbed of numerous key players, Austrian manager Marcel Koller comes to Dublin knowing his job is on the line and anything less than a win is likely to end their challenge for a spot at next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

However, Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane insists there is no chance of Ireland underestimating this weekend’s opponents despite their depleted squad.

“There is an obsession to talk about the players that aren’t involved,” Keane said today.

“They have got some really good players. They’ve got players who play at a very high level — players that play in the Champions League.

“Do you not think that the new players that come in for them will be really hungry? Do you not think they will want to do well for their country? Do you think, for one second, we are going to underestimate anybody? Forget about it.

“We are in for a really tough game. We had a tough game over there and rode our luck a little bit. We are missing a few players who started over there. It’s all irrelevant. Focus on the players that are involved. Their record against us is good.

I think if I was in their camp, I would be looking forward to playing Ireland as it’s a way for them to get back on track.

“I don’t think they’ll be frightened of playing Ireland in Dublin, they’ll probably fancy their chances and rightly so.

“We have got to make sure we are ready, ready for battle, we’re going to war with them and that’s it. Let’s see what happens on Sunday.” / YouTube

The win in Vienna was Ireland’s most impressive result of this qualifying campaign but Keane accepts that it could very easily have been a draw.

“There was a lot of talk before it, our record is not great against Austria,” he added. “They are a good team and they probably thought that they should have got a result at the end. They had a great chance and probably should have equalised.

We are under no illusions about how tough the game is. I don’t ever remember us being involved and having an easy game.

“Every game is tough for us and we know that we have to be at our very very best with and without the ball, and hopefully — which we didn’t do against Wales — produce one or two bits of quality that would get us the right result. But it’s a really good game to look forward to.”

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