'It's healthy to have competition for places' - Ireland defender Richard Keogh

The Derby County captain may have to bide his time before establishing himself under Giovanni Trapattoni but is happy to put pressure on team mates for a squad place
Republic of Ireland defender Richard Keogh is keen to put pressure on John O'Shea and Sean St Ledger as Ireland prepare for upcoming fixtures against the Faroe Islands and Spain.

The Derby County captain marked his first start for the Boys in Green with a goal when he headed in the opener against Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, June 2, a game which finished 4-0.

And Keogh believes that it was "important" that Ireland continued to produce the form that earned them a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley.

"We are on a nice little run now. Coming on the back of the performance against England, it was important we carried it on," Keogh told RTE.

"It's been great, and hopefully we can take it on to the Faroes, get the win there and then look forward to the New York trip. It's obviously against great opposition, but it's going to be a great experience for everyone."

Despite scoring against Georgia, Keogh, who has two caps for Ireland, is likely to be relegated to the bench when Ireland face the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier, with John O'Shea, Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger all vying for a place in the team.

However, the 26-year-old centre back was keen to accentuate the positive and said that it was "healthy to have competition" in the team.

"Obviously John and Sean have been fantastic for Ireland and are deservedly playing at the moment," added Keogh. "But it's healthy to have competition for places and as long as I am putting as much pressure as I can on them, then it's only going to be good for Ireland."

The Republic of Ireland host the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium on Friday, June 7 before taking on world and European champions Spain at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, June 11.