Keane backed to step up for Ireland

first_img Press Association His number two said: “We’re not daft, we know what’s at stake, but we’re ready for it. Pressure is part of the game. These are the games you look forward to. “We had a couple of friendlies last week with the North and England and that’s all well and good, decent games for us, but that was like the foreplay. The action starts on Saturday. “There are a lot of key decisions to be made, but that’s what we’re here for and what the manager is paid for. “People keep talking the game up, but it’s a big game and we know that. Martin is experienced and hopefully we pick the right starting XI. “There are lots of things to look at – who is carrying injuries, Robbie lacking match-sharpness – but it’s about making the right decisions.” One man over whom O’Neill will not have to make a decision is Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter, who has left the camp after failing to shake off hip and groin problems following his debut as a substitute against England on Sunday. Ireland did not turn in one of the better performances in the defeat at Celtic Park, and there is a general acceptance that they will have to play at a significantly higher level if they are to emerge with victory. However, former captain Keane has a simple recipe for success. Asked what they needed to do differently this time around, he said: “Score. Keep a clean sheet. Score and keep a clean sheet. “We know which games are very important in the group and this is really important. We’re ready for it.” The 34-year-old striker, who has 65 goals to his name in 139 senior appearances for his country, has played just 169 minutes of football for LA Galaxy since the beginning of April because of a groin injury. However, assistant manager Keane has no doubts that his namesake, who was left on the bench for the first time in 13 years as the Republic lost 1-0 in Glasgow in the reverse fixture in November, will do a job if he is asked to start the crucial Group D encounter by manager Martin O’Neill on Saturday evening. The former Manchester United and Ireland skipper said: “If Robbie starts, he won’t let us down. Whoever starts the game won’t let us down as we have good competition. “Murph (Daryl Murphy) is doing well, (David) McGoldrick, (Shane) Long – there are options up front and we’ll see in the next 24 hours, if there is no reaction to Robbie. “He played the weekend, a bit of travelling, trained yesterday and today – today was a bit more intense for him – and the manager has a decision to be made. “But if Robbie plays, like he has always done a 100-odd times, he won’t let us down.” The Galaxy frontman played the full 90 minutes of his club’s 1-0 defeat by Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening and joined up with the Republic squad on Tuesday. He took to the training pitch at Gannon Park in Malahide on Thursday morning having learned that his cousin Alan Harris had died in an industrial accident which left brother Steve fighting for his life after both were overcome by toxic fumes while working in a sewer just a few minutes from the team hotel in Portmarnock on Wednesday evening. Assistant manager Keane said: “I don’t really know the ins and outs. But he has trained today, being the professional he is as you would expect, and as far as he’s concerned he’s focusing on the game.” If the identity of the man who eventually fills that striking berth represents a key decision for O’Neill, it is one of several he faces, but he will not shy away from them as he attempts to propel the Republic back into the thick of the fight for qualification. Roy Keane is convinced record goalscorer Robbie Keane will not let the Republic of Ireland down if he is pitched into Euro 2016 battle with Scotland. last_img read more

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Beat writers unanimously predict Syracuse victory against Wake Forest

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse has now lost two straight after winning five in a row but just had a week off after its 97-88 loss to Duke last Saturday. Against the Blue Devils, Marek Dolezaj led the Orange in scoring with 22 points, but Syracuse (13-9, 6-5 Atlantic Coast) had no answers inside for Duke center Vernon Carey. Wake Forest — Syracuse’s opponent on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome — is the worst team in the ACC, though. Most recently, the Demon Deacons (10-12, 3-9) suffered a 10-point loss to Louisville three days ago.Here’s what our beat writers predict will happen in the Syracuse-Wake Forest matchup Saturday night.Nick Alvarez (15-7)No Chance in HellSyracuse 85, Wake Forest 75This week off couldn’t have come at a better time for Syracuse. Players talked about it extensively after the close loss to Duke. The Orange essentially played one game every four days since beating Virginia on Jan. 11. By the end, they wore down in a one-point loss to Clemson and fell flat against the Blue Devils. But now rested, SU should have an easy time against Wake Forest on Saturday night. The Demon Deacons shouldn’t out-shoot Syracuse. And while 7-foot Olivier Sarr may pose a problem, the junior center hasn’t helped Wake Forest much in conference play. The Orange’s next three games will be crucial and expect them to enter with a win. Michael McCleary (14-8)Wake up and smell the coffeeSyracuse 87, Wake Forest 70AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThere’s very little chance that Syracuse loses this game. Other than maybe a slight change in momentum, the last two games for the Orange don’t change their overall outlook and improvement. Wake Forest is the worst team in the ACC. Syracuse is somewhere around the fourth or fifth best team, judging by recent conference success. The math is simple.Josh Schafer (15-7)DeforestationSyracuse 83 Wake Forest 68 In a year of a bad ACC that ESPN currently has sending three teams to the NCAA tournament, Wake Forest is last in the conference. The Demon Deacons don’t shoot the 3-pointer well and don’t force many turnovers on defense. They don’t fit the mold of a team poised to pull off an upset in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse’s main challenge will be stopping Wake Forest’s big man, Olivier Sarr. If the Orange can prevent the 7-foot center from dominating down low, they should maintain control of this one.  Comments Published on February 8, 2020 at 9:57 amlast_img read more

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B&H juniors in the group with Greece, Russia and Czech Republic

first_imgThe junior basketball representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will play at the European Championship in Latvia for players younger than 18 years. Our basketball players will perform in group B with the teams from Greece, Russia and Czech Republic. The championship is scheduled from the 18thtill 28 th July, 2013.These are the groups that will compete at the European Championship:Group A: Lithuania, Serbia, Slovenia, France Group B: Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic Group C: Italy, Latvia, Bulgaria, Spain Group D: Ukraine, Turkey, England, Croatialast_img read more

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BREAKDOWN IN RELATIONSHIP WITH McGUINNESS MAY HAVE LED McHUGH TO QUIT CLAIMS CASSIDY

first_imgFORMER ALL-STAR Kevin Cassidy has claimed that Mark McHugh may have quit the Donegal GAA squad because of a breakdown in relations with manager Jim McGuinness.Kevin CassidyKilcar player McHugh stepped away from the county team along with Gary McFadden, Antoin McFadden and Thomas McKinley.Donegal selector Damian Diver suggested later that McHugh made the decision as he was no longer enjoying his football. But Cassidy said that such claims are only adding fuel to the fire.“It has been said that [McHugh] is not enjoying his football and has no hunger or desire to play the game. I said earlier that if you are going to air your laundry in public then at least tell the truth,” Cassidy wrote in his Gaelic Life column.“By saying that he has lost his appetite you are only adding fuel to the fire and the rumour mill will go into overdrive,” he added.“Some of the stories flying about Donegal this week are not fair on the player or the team management and are becoming a major distraction for all involved. I feel the departure of Rory Gallagher has had a lingering effect on the squad. “Rory would have been popular within the squad and himself and Mark [McHugh] would have been especially close. And if relations between Jim McGuinness and Mark have drifted then this could well be a likely cause.”McGuinness announced last September that his trusted assistant Gallagher would not be returning this season as he looked to make changes to the coaching set-up.Gaoth Dobhair manager Cassidy said that if the pair have fallen out McGuinness should be doing all in his power to settle their differences as McHugh is too important to the Donegal style of play.He also said he didn’t believe that Donegal have the players to either replace the 2012 All-Star, or to develop a new style of play without him.“Whatever has happened Donegal cannot afford to lose players like McHugh he is too important to the way Donegal play… The game plan nearly hinged on how he played so to take him out of the equation leaves a massive gap to fill. I don’t think Donegal have the players to fill that gap, nor do I think that they have the players to develop a new system,” he wrote. “I feel that Jim should be doing all he can to persuade Mark to stay. If there are issues then be the bigger man for the good of the team and try sorting them out,” he added.The fallout from the four squad members’ departures is nothing new to Donegal, according to Cassidy, as a county that has always struggled to keep their internal affairs from the general public.BREAKDOWN IN RELATIONSHIP WITH McGUINNESS MAY HAVE LED McHUGH TO QUIT CLAIMS CASSIDY was last modified: May 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalJim McGuinnessKevin CassidyMark McHughlast_img read more

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