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Hughton's Irish diary

Posted on 8 June 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Chris Hughton watched Robbie Keane tear apart Holland and wraps up his summer diary with few doubts as to our striker's standing in Irish football...

Robbie scored a magnificent goal as Ireland toppled the Dutch - highly-fancied for Euro 2004 - 1-0 in the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday night.

Picking up possession just inside Holland's half, Robbie carried the ball for 30 yards before unleashing a 25-yarder into the top corner.

It completed a sequence of three wins in four friendlies as the Republic beat Romania, Jamaica and Holland and lost to Nigeria in the space of nine days.

Here are Chris' thoughts...

IF I LOOKED at the side or even the squad before the Dutch game I'm sure if anyone had offered us a draw we would have taken it. We knew the lads would compete because that's how they are but to go and win the game - and deservedly win it as well - was fantastic. You assess the game on two fronts, chances and possession and where they had the majority of possession, we certainly had the chances. We deserved it and that was their opinion after as well.

ROBBIE scored a wonderful goal and it capped a very good performance. He played very well and if I look at his contribution for Ireland, it's been fantastic. I thought he was excellent on Saturday. People say he could be one of the all-time greats and he's certainly leaning that way already. For someone so young to have 52 caps at 23 years of age, I don't even need to look up that we've had a player who has won that amount of caps at that age. I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before he overtakes Niall Quinn's goalscoring record but he's the type of player where that won't over concern him. The Dutch game and performance was typical Robbie. He loves that big stage and I hope he now goes back firing next season.

IT'S BEEN an ideal period for us. We've had four friendlies in a short period of time with a young squad and just about everyone got a game or a part of a game. It's been a good programme for us. It was a long, hard programme but the lads came out of it really well and full credit to them.

THAT'S THAT then for the season. The players went their separate ways after the game on Saturday, all went on holiday and that's needed as well. It's a long season when you think that we started pre-season at Spurs early in July and we've just finished a friendly on June 5. And we all know it comes around again pretty quickly! These lads need a good break now to be refreshed and they all deserve it.