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Dublin: 3°C Monday 1 March 2021

Keane: Ireland 'lacked fight' in England defeat

Speaking on ITV, Keane praised Jack Grealish and admitted England might have had a more difficult training session.

Image: PA

WITH MICK MCCARTHY now managing Apoel Nicosia, the ghost of Irish football past asked to give a running commentary on Stephen Kenny’s Ireland was Roy Keane, in his role as an ITV pundit. 

Ireland were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Wembley by Gareth Southgate’s England, and while Keane acknowledged the chasm between the sides, he bemoaned a perceived lack of fight on behalf of Ireland. 

“It’s very hard work for the manager”, said Keane. “His team were way off the pace but the worry for me is they need more fight. They didn’t even have a booking.

“England would have had tougher training days. I could have played tonight. It was cushy night for Jack Grealish, who is going to go onto great things.”

And while England were superior to Ireland, the manner in which Kenny’s side conceded goals irked Keane.

“Ireland were okay in the first 15, 20 minutes but I always felt England looked dangerous going forward.

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“There was a build-up of pressure with some set-piece deliveries, which was good from England’s point of view.

“Ireland would still be disappointed because they gave away two sloppy goals.

“I think Shane Duffy was favourite to win that header.

“When it goes back between Duffy and Maguire, you’re thinking ‘Who wants it the most?’ Duffy is having a difficult time at club level and Maguire seems to want it more.

“Jeff Hendrick has got to get tighter to Sancho. There’s no excuse because Jeff’s got to close him down. The idea at this level that players can be two or three yards off a dangerous player is not good enough.”

Ireland travel to Cardiff this morning, ahead of a Nations League meeting with Wales on Sunday. Alan Browne is not part of the travelling party having tested positive for Covid-19. 


About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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