Keane backing for Trapattoni
Skipper Robbie Keane has re-affirmed his support for beleaguered Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni in the face of a concerted backlash.
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The 32-year-old LA Galaxy striker looked on helplessly on Friday night as the team he has represented with such distinction since bursting on to the international stage as a teenager was brutally taken apart by Germany.
Four days after a sickening 6-1 home defeat by Joachim Low's men, the Republic return to action against the Faroe Islands in Torshavn on Tuesday night knowing anything less than a victory could severely damage their hopes of World Cup qualification, but also aware of speculation that even a win might not spare their Italian boss the axe.
However, Keane was unequivocal as he found himself thrust into the centre of the debate over the 73-year-old's future at the Torsvollur Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Asked if he and his team-mates remain firmly behind Trapattoni amid claims that the manager has lost the dressing room, he 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.
"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."
It was the manner, rather than the fact, of the Germany defeat which caused such consternation with few expecting Ireland to win the game, but everyone expecting to see the organisation, the passion and the commitment upon which their reputation has been founded in recent years.
However, their surrender was abject and Trapattoni was unable to do anything about it, and that was simply too much for many to take.
Keane was offering no excuses for the Friday night horror show in Dublin, but his determination to right an horrific 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.
"Tomorrow, 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 tomorrow night."