`Hurting` Ireland seek USA friendly boost

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 17, 2014, 09:09 AM IST
`Hurting` Ireland seek USA friendly boost

Roy Keane wants Ireland`s players to use Tuesday`s friendly with the United States to get over the disappointment of their Euro 2016 qualifying defeat to Scotland.

Shaun Maloney`s second half goal last Friday was the difference between the two teams, the defeat puncturing Irish confidence after their unbeaten start to Group D.

Ireland had beaten Georgia and Gibraltar in their opening two games, before drawing with world champions Germany.

But they failed to spark against Gordon Strachan`s team and now face two crucial games next year in March and June against Poland and Scotland to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Keane, like most of the players who spoke in the aftermath of the Celtic Park defeat, admitted the dressing room was `hurting`, and wants to see a reaction on Tuesday at Lansdowne Road.

"We are not underestimating the disappointment of not getting a result against Scotland," said the Ireland assistant manager.

"There was a big build up, and of course it meant a lot to our supporters. But it`s a setback, that`s sport and that`s football.

"We just have to get on with it. There are no words of wisdom for the players but `just roll your sleeves up and get going again`."

Coach Martin O`Neill is expected to make a host of changes to his starting 11, while skipper Robbie Keane, who was a substitute in Scotland, has been released to travel back to his club in the USA.

Ipswich Town duo, defender Cyrus Christie and striker David McGoldrick could make their debuts having recently declared for Ireland.

They`re likely to use the occasion to try and impress their new manager, and Keane admits it`s a time where much can be learned of his players.

"A lot of the lads who started the other night won`t have the opportunity to make up for it because I`m guessing there will be a lot of changes, but obviously yes, I think you do learn a lot more about the group with defeats rather than with victories," Keane said.

"Just when you think you`re getting to know somebody they miss a game or they don`t perform to the level that you`re expecting and you think, `mmmm, I`m still sussing this guy out`."

"It wasn`t a final the other night, we`re not out of it, it`s not the end of the competition, we`ve a lot of these teams to come to the Aviva and if we don`t perform at the Aviva then that`s it, we`ve had our opportunities but it`s not all done and dusted; far from it."

While LA Galaxy`s Robbie Keane will be missing from the Ireland team, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann has to plan without four MLS players -- Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen, DeAndre Yedlin and DaMarcus Beasley, who were allowed to rejoin their clubs ahead of this weekend`s conference championship games.

The USA went down 2-1 to Colombia in London on Friday, a third winless game since the summer`s World Cup.

"Many players are struggling to get back into shape after the World Cup, especially the European players," said Klinsmann.

"It takes a lot out of you. The World Cup is a huge deal -- it`s a two-month, high-intensity camp that you go through. It`s understandable. 

"And that`s why we conceded a goal two minutes from the end, against Honduras and Colombia."