King has been fantastic, says Ireland captain Keane

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has leapt to the defence of temporary boss Noel King whose team selection came in for criticism following a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan
Robbie Keane has defended Republic of Ireland interim manager Noel King following the 3-1 victory over Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

Despite scoring three goals and winning the game, King's team selection came under scrutiny afterwards, but the former Derry City boss hit out at suggestions that players were being played "out of position."

"I don't know what you mean," he fumed when quizzed about his tactics. "They're not played out of position."

King lashed out again when it was suggested that certain players should have been playing, based on the perceived weakness of the opposition.

"I don't know [how good Kazakhstan are]," he declared. "I know they drew with Austria 0-0. I know Sweden beat them 1-0. This is typical. Don't degrade the players' performance. Don't degrade what they've done."

Former Ireland international Eamon Dunphy, who had been critical of King ahead of Ireland's game against Germany on Friday, branded him "immature" and "out of his depth" following the post-match interview, but Keane said that the temporary manager had been "a credit to himself."

"I don't know if there's anything between them [King and Dunphy] but he hasn't spoofed any of the lads this week," he told reporters. "He's been honest as they come, a credit to himself the way he handled himself."

He continued: "To come in, change it all up and leave out players who want to play, he's done well. All the lads enjoyed him, he's one of our own, he's fantastic."

Nevertheless, the LA Galaxy striker, who bagged his 61st international goal against Kazakhstan, said that it was a "perfect time" to install a new manager, with potential friendly fixtures in November.

"If Noel is here in November the lads will support him," he said. "But you'd imagine it's the perfect time to have a new manager. Otherwise, what's the point in having these friendlies?"