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All still to play for - Keane

Ireland captain Robbie Keane is targeting victory in Russia on Tuesday night as he set his sights of a hat-trick of wins to secure Euro 2012 qualification.

The 31-year-old was in bullish mood as he and his team-mates prepared for the showdown with Dick Advocaat's Group B leaders at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Keane said: "There's no reason why we can't. We will obviously focus and concentrate everything we have on the Russia game."

Ireland head into the game having slipped two points off the pace as a result of their 0-0 draw with Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night, and they know their hopes of securing an automatic passage to next summer's finals could be dashed if they do not win in Moscow.

But Keane and his colleagues will run out on to the controversial artificial pitch at the Luzhniki intent on leaving with all three points to set themselves up for next month's double-header against Andorra and Armenia.

The LA Galaxy striker added: "Our main aim is to get something out of this game, and there's no reason why we can't do that and look forward to the [last] two games then. But why can't we? It's a game we can't lose. We want to still be in the pack when the last two games come around, so it's vitally important that we are in amongst it.

"From now, there are nine points to play for, so there's still a lot that can happen, and we are well aware of that. But our main focus is on hopefully getting three points and then we will focus on that. But there are certainly a lot of games to play and anything can happen."

Ireland have never won in Moscow and lost 3-2 to Advocaat's side in Dublin in October after suffering a nightmare start to the game.

However, despite a sub-standard display against the Slovakians and the selection problems which have robbed manager Giovanni Trapattoni of Kevin Kilbane, John O'Shea, Sean St Ledger and Shane Long, they arrived in Russia confident of redressing the balance.

Keane, who played in a 4-2 defeat on Ireland's last visit to the city in September 2002, said: "We have a different team and the way we play now, our set-up, is probably a lot better than then. We are a lot harder to beat now, which you have seen over the last few years."


From Belfast Telegraph