IRELAND MANAGER GIOVANNI Trapattoni has criticised Robbie Keane’s decision to make himself available for selection against Andorra, as an injury he aggravated during the game looks to have ruled the player out of next month’s play-off ties
It means the manager is likely to be without both his first-choice strikers for the first leg, with Kevin Doyle suspended for one game following his red card against Armenia.
Trapattoni bemoaned Keane’s decision to play despite carrying a muscle strain going into the Andorra game, telling reporters:
“I said to him that he should have said immediately and maybe go off. It should be immediately with muscle [problems]. Never discuss, never put into question the muscular problems.”
However, he has not yet given up hope that the player might be fit for the games, though Keane himself suggested that the tear would rule him out out for at least four to six weeks.
But like Trapattoni, Keane refused to be overly pessimistic. He said, with regard to his injury, that “we’ll know more in 10 days”.
And even if Keane is not available, Trap has acknowledged he has a number of alternatives at his disposal, with Jon Walters and Simon Cox both impressing against Armenia, and Shane Long in excellent form for his club.
The first leg of the play-offs will take place on either November 11 or 12, with the return game set for November 15.
The draw to determine Ireland’s opponents takes place at 12pm today and we’ll be keeping you up to date with a liveblog of proceedings.