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ROBBIE TAKES HEART

Posted on 19 April 2006  - 12:00

Robbie Keane believes the team should take a degree of heart from the performance against Manchester United - even though the game resulted in defeat.

Robbie Keane believes the team should take a degree of heart from the performance against Manchester United - even though the game resulted in defeat.

As Martin Jol suggested, the first 20 minutes was as good as anything we have witnessed this season and United were particularly rocked in the opening five or six minutes before they responded with a goal on the break courtesy of Wayne Rooney.

The advantage was doubled just after the half hour mark when Rooney struck again following defensive indecision, but the lead was reduced after half-time through Jermaine Jenas and the boys gave everything in search of a leveller.

"It certainly was a strong performance and we have to take a little bit of heart from it to take into Saturday's game," considered Robbie. "We definitely deserved to get something out of the game and - who knows? - if we had scored the first goal we might have won it.

"Sometimes you need a bit of luck. On Monday we had something like four or five chances in the space of ten minutes and it wasn't to be, but we did play well."

However, not profiting from openings is generally likely to be punished against seasoned challengers such as Manchester United, who were clinical in their converting of limited chances.

"Man Utd are a class side and, if you give them opportunities, they are going to take them," agreed Robbie. "From our corner they broke on us and scored then the second was a mistake. If you give teams like Man Utd chances they will punish you."

Robbie ended Monday's game pulling the strings from deep - often our last man - partly due to the need for more weight in attack but, also he conceded, because he did not have a lot of running left in him.

"I was all over the place, but sometimes you have to do that for the team. When you are playing Man Utd with two big fellas at the back, sometimes you have to try and force the issue a little bit and put Daws and Calum in there.

"We nearly got a goal from it and sometimes you have to go route one. I was too tired to stay up front, to be honest."