Republic of Ireland defender Seamus Coleman wants Robbie Keane to hit Germany where it hurts on Friday night more than 10 years after scoring against them in the World Cup in Japan.
Everton’s Coleman was just 13 when Keane, who sat out this morning's training session with an Achilles problem, popped up with an injury-time leveller in the Republic’s Group E clash with Germany to secure a 1-1 draw in Ibaraki.
“I was watching it with all my friends, it was brilliant,” said Coleman. “It would be nice to see him pop up with one again on Friday.”
The Boys in Green face Joachim’s Low’s side in 2014 World Cup qualification without a number of senior players due to injury and retirements, but Coleman, 23, feels that they can grind out a result against a team that have never been beaten in an away World Cup qualifier.
He said: “We know that we’ve got some quality players and we’ve got some experience in Robbie Keane, who’s been there and done it before and that can rub off on the younger lads.
“We’ll leave no stone unturned in the build-up to the game and positive results can happen, especially when you are an underdog.”
Coleman was first called up to the squad two years ago but has yet to feature in a competitive game for his country. A seventh cap against Germany would therefore be his biggest challenge yet, admits the Donegal man.
“I’ve been in and around the squad for two years now and I haven’t had a competitive match as such, it’s just been friendlies. If I did get on the pitch it would definitely be my best moment in an Ireland shirt,” he said.
This season, the ex-Sligo Rovers man’s club form has been impressive, making six first-team appearances for Everton so far. But Coleman says that while that run is positive from a personal point of view, it doesn’t necessarily transfer to the international game.
“It’s a completely different team here. It’s good for me and my confidence to be part of a team that’s winning at the minute but it’s completely different between Everton and Ireland,” he said.
“Every manager is different and they have different tactics. As a player you’ve just got to try your best to fit into the formation.
“It is a bit different, especially against Germany. You’re not going to go all guns blazing because they’ll be fit to pick you off so it will be a tactical game.”
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has been reluctant to play Coleman in big games and left the defender out of the Euro 2012 squad. And Coleman admits that, if selected on Friday, he will have to curb his attacking instincts.
“It might be a game for defending first and then attack. That is a big part of my game, attacking, but in games like this you’ve got to take a step back and see how the game goes.
“Even at club football, you can’t just run forward when you feel like it. Especially here with Ireland, it’s a bit different for the full-backs. It’s just something you’ve got to adapt to.
“If you want to play in the team you’ve got to do what you’re told.”