Keane craves career high
19:56, 13 Jun 2012
Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane admits beating Spain tomorrow night would be one of the high points of his career.
The 31-year-old striker faces the task of trying to shoot down the world and European champions to preserve Ireland's involvement at Euro 2012, and knows exactly what is at stake.
But he is confident they can emerge with an unlikely victory to give themselves a chance of extending their stay in Poland and Ukraine.
Asked if a win would be the biggest result of his career, Keane said: "It would certainly be up there.
"People have probably written us off and not given us any hope. After losing the other night, it is very important that we get something out of the game because we need to get points on the board as soon as possible.
"It would certainly be up there. It would certainly give the players a lot of confidence and a lot of belief if we do get a result going into Monday's game."
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni, unusually for him, declined to name his team and today's pre-match press conference, further fuelling speculation that he may change both system and personnel for the game at the PGE Arena.
The Italian fears his traditional 4-4-2 formation might allow the gifted Spanish midfield to dominate, and that could see one of his frontmen drop a little deeper.
Keane has been asked to play that role on more than one occasion, but he could alternatively find himself playing as a lone striker.
He said: "It depends on what the manager is thinking. We have had a chat and will speak again after training and see the situation of certain players.
"If that is the situation, that I do play as a lone striker, that is something I've done plenty of times before.
"It is obviously different to what I am used to, but it is something I enjoy doing. You have to play more on the shoulder and try to get in behind defenders.
"If the manager does decide to do that, it is something I would be very happy to do for the team."
Keane, Ireland's record goalscorer with 53, has not found the back of the net in his past five international matches, but he remains confident he can end his barren run.
Asked if he would accept being left out if it was for the good of the team, he said with a smile: "Of course not. No, I'm joking.
"Listen, at the end of the day the manger has to decide. If the manager wants to decide that, he has to do that.
"I can play in either of two roles. I can play as a midfielder just playing in front of Keith [Andrews] or Glenn [Whelan], or as a lone striker getting in behind the two defenders.
"We will have a look on the training pitch and see how every player is. I'm sure the manager will decide then."