LOAN JUST THE JOB FOR ROB Keane fit and fir­ing af­ter Villa stint

REPUB­LIC OF IRE­LAND v CZECH REPUB­LIC Live on Sky Sports 1 – 7.45pm

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

ROB­BIE KEANE claims his spell at As­ton Villa has given him a new lease of life – but has ruled out a per­ma­nent switch back to the Premier League.

Keane moved to LA Gal­axy last year and went on loan to Villa dur­ing the MLS off­sea­son.

He claims his two-month stay in the Mid­lands has made him as sharp as he’s been for years as he pre­pares for his and Ire­land’s first ma­jor tour­na­ment since 2002.

Skip­per Keane said: “It couldn’t have worked out bet­ter for me in terms of keep­ing fit and play­ing games. You want to play ev­ery week – ev­ery player wants that. I’m not one of these play­ers who can just sit on the bench and pick up money.

“I re­ally en­joyed it at Villa and the last few months have been re­ally good for me.”

Keane in­sists he’ll stick with the bright lights of LA for the forsee­able fu­ture, adding: “I en­joyed my spell at Villa, but I don’t have any un­fin­ished busi­ness with the Premier League. I’ve scored more than 100 goals in the Premier League so I don’t have any­thing to prove to any­body.”

Ire­land boss Giovanni Tra­p­at­toni plays Keane just be­hind ei­ther Shane Long or Jonathan Wal­ters and the skip­per is glad he’s in the role he’s used to at club level.

Deeper

He said: “The po­si­tion I’m in now is the one I’m used to. It’s the po­si­tion I’ve played in for most of my ca­reer, cer­tainly in Eng­land.

“I en­joy play­ing in that deeper role. That was the case at Villa and also at Tot­ten­ham, just off Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov.”

Trap­pa­toni is stick­ing with the squad that got his side to Euro 2012, but re­vealed new boys James Mcclean and Shane Duffy will come on against the Czech Repub­lic tonight.

He said: “This is a test for my squad. It is the last op­por­tu­nity to con­sol­i­date our squad’s spirit.

“We want to show we be­lieve in the play­ers who got us here.

“I’m sure the squad all know and un­der­stand what an op­por­tu­nity this is, be­cause it is a great op­por­tu­nity for our na­tional team.”

MAN WITH THE PLAN: Tra­p­at­toni looks set

to start Rob­bie Keane just off his main striker

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