Ireland captain Robbie Keane surprised by Kevin Doyle omission

The LA Galaxy captain was shocked when the Wolves front-man failed to make the final squad for the upcoming qualifiers, but says that anything can happen in football
Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has expressed his surprise at Kevin Doyle's omission from the international squad to face Sweden and Austria.

After being named in the extended provisional squad, the Wolves striker, who has won 53 caps for his country, was dropped from Giovanni Trapattoni's final 23-man squad.

"I think probably everybody was [surprised]," Keane told reporters. "Kevin has done fantastic for the country since he starting playing.

"Things are not going too well at Wolves and that’s certainly not down to Kevin. But the manager made the decision and you have to respect him."

He added: "As we know in this game, anything can happen. Kevin scored at the weekend so it can easily change around. He could be in the next squad, you just don’t know."

The newly-instated LA Galaxy captain believes that the Boys in Green will also miss the experience and reputation of key players such as Richard Dunne, Shay Given and Damien Duff, and suggested that it was a difficult task for a young squad to beat Sweden.

"It's not going to be easy, we certainly know that, when you are missing big players," he said. "[Richard Dunne] is injured and Shay [Given] and [Damien Duff] have retired and they are certainly big players.

"When the team you are playing against sees these names on the sheet, it kind of worries them a bit. Now at the moment there are a lot of young players that the Swedish big players probably would not see too much or hear too much of.

"Certainly it's a lot to ask of a young squad to come in. It probably takes a little bit of time but the problem is we don't have that — we only have six games left. We have to be right on it."

Despite the retirement of his compatriots Shay Given and Damien Duff, as well as the recent announcement from Stoke City striker Michael Owen that he will retire at the end of the season, Keane says that he will not be retiring any time soon.

"I want to become a coach, a manager but I want to play as long as I can," said the 32-year-old. "I see someone like Michael Owen retiring from football, and the two of us came through at the same time. I dread the day I have to finish playing because this is my life, and what I love doing.

"As soon as I get the feeling that I don't want to do it anymore [I'll quit], but I can't see that happening for a very long time," he added.