Robbie Keane plays down his special night after Republic of Ireland win

By Rebecca Stephenson (@1rebs).   Last Updated: 07/06/13 11:10pm

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Robbie Keane celebrates a hat trick as he becomes Republic's most capped player

Robbie Keane celebrates a hat trick as he becomes Republic's most capped player

Sky Bet

Robbie Keane insisted Republic of Ireland's win was more important after netting a hat-trick on his record-breaking night.

Keane became Ireland's most experienced player as he made his 126th appearance against the Faroe Islands, and the vital 3-0 win puts Giovanni Trapatonni's men into third place in Group C.

And despite all the personal accolades, Keane preferred to focus on the boost his hat-trick had given his nation rather than himself.

"There was a lot of talk about the record, but that was very much in the back of my mind," he told Sky Sports.

"It was about playing the game in the right manner and getting the result for the team so in that way it was just another game for me, but it was obviously a special occasion for my family.

"I'm glad it's all over to be honest. There was a lot of fuss before the game, but the most important thing was the football and we got the three points so everybody's happy."

Ireland will now head into a vital double header with Sweden and Austria in September - the sides immediately above and below them in the group.

Keane said: "We need to focus on ourselves. We have to travel to Austria and play Sweden here but we know exactly what we have to do - win three of the last four games.

"But the next two games are make or break for us."

Wes Hoolahan made his first competitive start for his country and he was quick to pay tribute to his captain.

He said: "He's unbelievable. He's done it for the last 15 years for Ireland and to score a hat trick tonight when he gets the record is fully deserved."

And on his own fortunes, Hoolahan hopes he will now be in contention in the autumn.

"I just have to keep doing what I'm doing," he continued. "We have two important games but we have a great squad. Hopefully I have a chance of knocking on the door."

His performance certainly impressed Keane.

The skipper said: "We've seen him all season at Norwich - he's been a revelation.

"For me, as someone who likes to drop off, he is so easy to play with because he likes to get the ball and play one-twos round the box.

"It worked very well and I hope it continues."

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