Assistant manager Roy Keane speaks to the media after training. Donall Farmer/INPHO

Roy Keane: 'We can't sit back and expect to defend for 90 minutes against Germany'

The Ireland assistant boss also insists the world champions won’t be “panicking” following their loss on Saturday.

IRELAND ASSISTANT BOSS Roy Keane has urged his team to adopt a positive mindset ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier away to Germany on Tuesday evening.

Despite the Germans’ loss to Poland on Saturday night, Ireland travel to Gelsenkirchen as clear underdogs, and are expected to go substantial periods without possession during the game. Nevertheless, Keane believes the team can’t afford to be overly negative in their approach.

“You have obviously can’t go gung ho against a quality team like Germany but we can’t sit back and expect to defend for 90 minutes.

“It’s all a balancing act. Obviously defensively let’s be solid, but hopefully we’ll be a goal threat like Poland were.”

The Aston Villa number two also dismissed suggestions by some critics that Germany were suffering from a World Cup hangover, and that the world champions’ summer success had caused them to take their eye off the ball to some extent.

“There are obviously going to be changes, with new players coming in. But they still have quality, the history behind them, and they’re at home. They won their first game [against Scotland] so I don’t think Germany will be panicking, far from it. You still expect them to top the group. It happens, you can lose football matches. The downside from our point of view is you expect a response from Germany at home, so that makes it maybe even tougher.

“I don’t think [their World Cup win] will be a big problem. Top players usually move on pretty quickly when they’ve had a bit of success. We saw with the Spanish it can be done for eight to 10 years.

“It’s one defeat for Germany, let’s not be getting carried away thinking they’re gone. They’ve lost a few experienced players, but they’ve always got good players coming through from the 21s, or players who were on the bench at the World Cup.

“They just had a setback and from what I hear, they actually had decent possession and lost by a couple of goals, which can happen to any team.

“We know the challenge in front of the players, but we’ve got a lot of experience, they’ve played in big games before and they should look forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy is a doubt for Tuesday’s game with an achilles problem, while Derby’s Richard Keogh has withdrawn from the squad as a result of a hamstring injury.

Keogh’s enforced absence leaves the Irish side looking a little light in terms of defensive back-up, however Keane does not believe further call-ups are needed.

“I think we’re okay — we’ve lads on the bench. People like [Alex] Pearce and young Brian [Lenihan]. So I don’t think there’s any need to [call in reinforcements].”

And Keane, unsurprisingly, was unwilling to give away any hints about team selection. When asked if there were likely to be many changes from the Gibraltar game for the Germany match, he responded: “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the manager.”

Roy Keane not surprised by Poland-Germany result>

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