Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has warned his teammates to expect Ireland to adopt Roy Keane’s persona when the two sides clash on Saturday night.
The Leicester City keeper was speaking to the media on Friday ahead of the World Cup qualification play-off first leg at the Parken Stadium, and he conceded that he does not expect to have an easy time of it against Martin O’Neill’s men.
Schmeichel, of course, will have seen plenty of Keane as a player down the years from watching father Peter in the wildly successful Manchester United sides of the 90s – teams in which Roy Keane was a major motivational driving force.
With Keane working as assistant manager to O’Neill in the national setup, the 31-year-old expects similar mentality in the current crop of Irish players:
“My memories of Roy Keane? Most of them holding trophies, being an inspirational leader and captain for Manchester United.
“Roy is a typical Irishman. They have a unique character. I have played with a lot of Irish players and I very much enjoy their attitude to life. They are very serious in their work business, but they also like to have fun.
“I’m sure that we’ll see a little bit of the Roy Keane on-pitch persona in the team tomorrow.”
Both sides will need to be wary of being too physical in the first leg on Saturday night. A sizeable amount of the players that will be on the pitch will take to the pitch will be doing so with the threat of suspension hanging over them, with many just one yellow card away from being ruled out of the second leg.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we review last week’s FAI Cup final with former Cork City defender Derek Coughlan and look ahead to Ireland’s massive World Cup play-off against Denmark.