Keane behind under-fire Trapattoni
Skipper Robbie Keane has re-affirmed his support for beleaguered Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni in the face of a concerted backlash.
The 32-year-old LA Galaxy striker looked on helplessly on Friday night as the team he has represented with such distinction since bursting on to the international stage as a teenager was brutally taken apart 6-1 by Germany.
Keane was unequivocal as he found himself thrust into the centre of the debate over the 73-year-old Italian's future. Asked if he and his team-mates remain firmly behind Trapattoni amid claims that the manager has lost the dressing room, he replied: "Of course we are."
"Listen, there are always going to be rifts in the camp and we certainly know that as players," he added.
"The players who are not playing are going to be disappointed - that's normal. Every week since I have been playing football, every week there is one argument in the team, every week in clubs.
"It's normal, it's natural and it happens all the time. Unfortunately we are in a bubble here with the Irish set-up. It's a bubble and stuff gets out and that's no problem.
"But this happens every week in football. Last week before I left LA Galaxy, it happened; two weeks before that, it happened and when I was at Tottenham, it happened. It happens all the time.
"We are in this together and we have to stick together. The manager has a contract and of course the players want to see that continue. We have lost two qualifying games since he has taken over, [against] Germany and Russia."