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Published: 15:17 | 1/6/16

Keane: Defeat was a reality check

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane admits Tuesday's defeat to Belarus was a reality check for those who 'thought they were good players'.

Martin O'Neill made a number of changes to the side that drew 1-1 with the Netherlands for the game at Fota Island but many failed to convince the management team that they deserved to be included in the squad for Euro 2016.

It was a disappointing night for the team as they prepare to fly out to France and Keane admits he was unhappy with the display of some players at Fota Island.

"We wanted to kill some of them last night. They should be counting their blessing that they've managed to get on the flight," Keane told reporters.
"A reality check for one or two players who thought they were good players."

Aiden McGeady was named in the final 23-man squad for Euro 2016 despite a disappointing performance against Belarus.

McGeady moved to Sheffield Wednesday in a bid to gain more first-team football and Keane has paid tribute to the midfielder for making the decision to leave Everton.

"Aiden, over the last few months, has had a taste of football at Sheffield Wednesday. I know he hasn't played the last few weeks," Keane explained.

"He did take that decision to leave Everton and get some action whereas a lot of players sit around and think well it's not the right for me. You have to give Aiden some credit for that.

"Would Aiden find himself lucky to be on the flight?... well he'll need to play better than he did last night to force his way into the starting XI.

"Aiden has had good moments for Ireland, if you go back to the start of the group, Generally speaking, without overreacting the players that have made it have all played their part in helping us get there.

"If you want my reaction to Aiden's performance last night, he can do a lot better but maybe that's the story of his career."

Captain Robbie Keane was named in the final squad despite picking up a calf injury at the weekend.

"There’s no need to rush Robbie. His track record is pretty good and his recovery rate is very good," Keane said.

"I think Robbie, when he’s carrying knocks, has a good mindset, which I think helps with any injury.

"It’s not ideal, but the fact is do we think he’d be available for Sweden? We think yes."

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