Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane gives his backing to Giovanni Trapattoni
Last Updated: October 16, 2012 1:57pm
Robbie Keane has thrown his support behind under-fire Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
Keane will return to the starting line-up for tonight's World Cup qualifier against Faroe Islands after an Achilles problem kept him out of the humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Germany on Friday.
The heavy loss increased the pressure on Trapattoni, while there have since been reports of a bust-up between Stephen Kelly and assistant manager Marco Tardelli.
Asked if he and his team-mates remain firmly behind Trapattoni amid claims that the manager has lost the dressing room, Keane replied: "Of course we are.
"Listen, there are always going to be rifts in the camp and we certainly know that as players.
"The players who are not playing are going to be disappointed - that's normal. Every week since I have been playing football, every week there is one argument in the team, every week in clubs.
"It's normal, it's natural and it happens all the time. Unfortunately we are in a bubble here with the Irish set-up. It's a bubble and stuff gets out and that's no problem.
"This happens every week in football. Last week before I left LA Galaxy, it happened; two weeks before that, it happened and when I was at Tottenham, it happened. It happens all the time."
"But this happens every week in football. Last week before I left LA Galaxy, it happened; two weeks before that, it happened and when I was at Tottenham, it happened. It happens all the time.
"We are in this together and we have to stick together. The manager has a contract and of course the players want to see that continue.
"We have lost two qualifying games since he has taken over, [against] Germany and Russia."
Owed a performance
Keane was offering no excuses for the Friday night horror show in Dublin, but his determination to right a wrong was clear.
Asked if the players owe Trapattoni a performance, he said: "Listen, everybody is in this together - of course we owe him.
"It's clear to see and I don't need to tell you the job he has done for the country.
"I think as players, we let ourselves down, we let our country down and whether you are playing or not playing, we are all in this together.
"We are all going to be criticised together and it's important that we all pay back together.
"It will be interesting to see the separation of the men from the boys.
"It was not good enough on Friday and it's important now that we stand up and be counted.
"Listen, the lads accept you are going to get criticised, and I mentioned after the game that there's going to be a lot of negativity around the whole country, which there has been, and rightly so.
"It wasn't good enough, we all know that and we accept that, but it is up to us as players now to put this right tomorrow night.
"We will be doing our best to do that and hopefully we can rectify a little bit how bad Friday's result was by getting three points."