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Robbie remains upbeat

Posted on 30 March 2009  - 12:00

Robbie Keane is refusing to be downhearted after his Republic of Ireland side were held to a 1-1 draw by Bulgaria at the weekend.

Robbie remains upbeat

Robbie Keane is refusing to be downhearted after his Republic of Ireland side were held to a 1-1 draw by Bulgaria at the weekend.

The result meant group leaders Italy opened up a two-point gap at the top of Group Eight.

But due to the flying start Giovanni Trapattoni's side had made, the Irish are comfortably in second place, seven points clear of the Bulgarians and Cyprus, and therefore well in the driving seat for a play-off place.

And with the chance to reclaim top spot when they meet Italy in Bari on Wednesday, captain Robbie sees no reason to be anything but positive.

"The gaffer was saying, 'Pick yourselves back up, we didn't lose'. We have to look at the overall picture," he said.

"We have to look at ourselves in the situation and I think we probably would have taken this at the start of the campaign, the position we are in at the moment and how many points we are ahead of Cyprus and Bulgaria. We knew Italy were going to be the favourites.

"Obviously we want to push them and hopefully get to the top of the table, but I think people are thinking now we are going to get second."

On this week's clash with the World Champions, Robbie added: "As long as you don't lose, that's the most important thing.

"They are the world champions and it is going to be a tough game, but we have got to frustrate them, we have got to keep the ball.

"They are a good footballing side and we know it is going to be tough, but we have got a lot of character in this team and there's no reason why we can't go there on Wednesday and get a result."