• Euro 2012

Keane buzzing ahead of Euro opener

ESPN staff
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Robbie Keane is raring to go © PA Photos
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Robbie Keane cannot wait for the Republic of Ireland to kick-off their Euro 2012 campaign on Sunday evening.

Keane and his team-mates have been training for three weeks in Malahide in the lead-up to the European Championship. The striker says Ireland are now in top condition heading into their opening clash against Croatia in Poznan.

"We are desperate to get started now," Keane said. "It's been a long few weeks. It's been very good, the atmosphere around the place has been brilliant. Everybody is just looking forward to Sunday now."

Shay Given did not train with the team on Thursday following ongoing knee and calf injuries and blistered feet. Keane is not concerned by Given's lack of preparation, while goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly and assistant manager Marco Tardelli are adamant the goalkeeper will be fit to play against the Croatians.

"He did bits and bobs, didn't he? He obviously didn't take part in the whole session, which would probably be on medical advice from the staff and what have you, but he seems to be okay.

"As long as he is on the training pitch and he's fit for Sunday's game, that's the most important thing," Keane said.

The Republic have gradually turned their attention towards the specifics of the Croatia game with manager Giovanni Trapattoni and his coaching staff having identified strengths and weaknesses, and the information they have gleaned will be drummed into the players over the next few days.

"That's the manager's job to do that," Keane said. "As a team, we always sit down and watch videos and watch different clips on how they play, so that will certainly happen this week.

"But we played against them not long ago, so we obviously know all the players they have. But that's where the manager - him and the backroom staff - sit down every day and go through certain situations, and then the players this week will sit down and watch certain clips of them."

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