Belfast Telegraph

Roy Keane 'not worried' about Gareth Bale ahead of Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Wales

By Aidan Fitzmaurice

Roy Keane says he's not worried about the threat posed by a fit-again Gareth Bale to Ireland's World Cup hopes in Dublin next month and he's confident that Martin O'Neill's players can cope.

When Bale suffered a serious ankle injury in November, it was thought he could be ruled out for the key qualifier in Ireland but he's now close to a return.

However Keane, enthused by the recent form of players like Séamus Coleman and Robbie Brady, is upbeat.

"I expected Bale to be fit. I see he is back kicking a ball but, to me, he was always going to be fit for our match and we will be ready for him. I won't, but the players will," said Keane ahead of the March 24 tie at the Aviva.

"We have good players, Séamus Coleman and people like that, we should be excited as you want to test yourself against the best and I am sure our players are looking forward to it.

"We have a bit of momentum but there is obviously added pressure because when you get a little bit of success people automatically think you just turn up and win football matches, it doesn't work that way, we are up against a very good team with some outstanding individuals.

"But we have a good spirit, a good energy in the group, have some good players, and I think the fans are right behind us."



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