Keane ready for hostile atmosphere in Georgia

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The Republic of Ireland assistant manager expects a tough environment for his side's first match of Euro 2016 qualifying but is adamant that Martin O'Neill's men are up for it

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane is ready to face a partisan crowd in Georgia in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday.

Working under boss Martin O'Neill, Keane will help guide Ireland through their qualification campaign as the nation bid to reach a second successive European Championship.

The 43-year-old, also an assistant to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa, expects a hostile welcome at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena but is eager for it.

"We are looking forward to it, of course, we have said that for the last few months," he told reporters on Thursday.

"People are on about a hostile atmosphere - brilliant, bring it on. Everyone seems frightened to death, particularly the media. There's a lot of negativity. Strangely enough, I'm sure, if we qualify, you will be first to celebrate and have a jolly-up over there.

"From the players' point of view and from the manager and the staff - we have got a top, top manager and we will be ready. I don't know what you are worried about.

"The reason we play these games is to get involved in tough qualifying matches. It's going to be tough, obviously, but, my goodness, we have got to look forward to the game.

"It's a tough game, particularly away from home, but, from the angle I'm looking at, certainly over the next few days, we have just got to make sure we get our own act together, make sure we are right tactically and we pick the right team and, if we are at it, we can give them a tough game.

"I think every game is going to be vital for us. We have said since the draw was made no doubt Germany will be hot favourites but every minute of every game will be vital. There will be vital moments and starting with Sunday, we need to be ready.

"It's a difficult start but we are ready for it. We will be ready on Sunday. That's why you play the game. There's nothing to be frightened of."

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