Keane rebuffs retirement talk

Skipper insists he has no intention of retiring from Ireland

Keane: Keeping focused

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Robbie Keane has insisted he has no intention of retiring from playing for the Republic of Ireland just yet.

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS Rep of Ireland v Macedonia 7.30pm, Sat, Sky Sports HD2, Sky Sports 2 and online with Sky Player Click here to remote record

The 30-year-old skipper will equal Andy Townsend's record when he leads his country in the Euro 2012 qualifier with Macedonia on Saturday wearing the armband for the 40th time.

The striker caused something of a stir when, as he was unveiled by West Ham following a January loan move from Tottenham, he admitted that he would happily move aside if a younger, fitter striker came through the ranks for Ireland.

But the skipper insisted on Friday he wants to go on for as long as he can as he prepares to win his 105th senior international cap.

He said: "I will make it clear - I have no intention to retire at all. I want to play as long as I can.

"I think you have seen over years, I have always been committed and always wanted to play for my country, and that will never change.

"I don't like to predict what is going to happen in three or four years' time with injuries and what have you.

"I will just take each campaign as it comes, look forward to this campaign and hope we can qualify.

Fairly happy

"I was just asked the question that if someone came in and the manager felt it was time for me to be pushed aside, I would be fairly happy.

"If someone young and fit came in and did a better job than me, I would be happy enough."

Keane was recently out for six weeks for the Hammers with a calf injury but is confident he will be fit enough to play against Macedonia after returning to action a fortnight earlier than expected with the help of ice chamber treatments which proved more eventful than he might have thought.

He added: "It's an ice chamber that myself and one of the lads went to, and Frank Bruno was there as well.

"He was in there singing Danny Boy, which was a bit bizarre.

"You do two sessions a day of nine minutes. You go in for four minutes, come back out, go on the bike for a few minutes and go back in again.

"You don't want to be in any longer than that, trust me. But it was good, it's probably healed me a lot better."

What will be the outcome in the match Rep of Ireland vs FYR Macedonia?

  • Rep of Ireland
  • Draw
  • FYR Macedonia

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