Richard Keogh: 'The manager is trying to rebuild the squad and I think the future is bright for us'Wed, Oct 17 2018
Andrew Dempsey reports from the Aviva Stadium
While the mood around the Aviva Stadium was of major disappointment following the Republic of Ireland’s UEFA Nations League defeat at home to Wales, defender Richard Keogh took a more positive view, declaring that he feels the future is bright for the Boys in Green.
“The manager is naturally disappointed like the players,” the Derby County centre-back told reporters after the game.
“He’s a passionate guy and he wants to win. He was disappointed, but I think if you look at his record overall since he’s come in, we’ve achieved some amazing things.
“He’s given me some of my best moments in football. The Germany night. Qualifying for the Euros and the Italy game, these are moments that will live for you forever.
“That’s down to the manager and his coaching staff. He’s trying to rebuild the squad and I think the future is bright for us.”
A defeat is always tough to take no matter what the circumstances are. However, this one may sting a little more.
Without Gareth Bale and Arron Ramsey, the Dragons looked comfortable without their star men on the Aviva Stadium stage.
However Keogh revealed that there were some positives to take from the game despite the far from ideal end result.
“We want to win every game, but the reality is that we can’t. it does (hurt confidence) a little bit but we are a group that is learning.
“That’s the reality of the situation. We’ve lost some big characters so it’s up to the younger lads to step up.
“The absence of Bale and Ramsey gives you a better opportunity, but we have to get it right and saying that, Wales are a good team.
“They have got some other good players and we knew that. Sometimes games like that are decided by tight margins and tonight was one of them.”
He added: “There’s never always a lot of positives to take from a result like that when you lose but for anyone watching on the outside you might not think we deserved to lose that game.
“I thought the last 25 minutes for sure were ours. The first half was quite cagey. Obviously, we had the great chance at the start and if that had gone in it would’ve been different.
“We had some decent chances, but we didn’t take them. Obviously, we had the grand stand finish, but we couldn’t force the equaliser.”
The result leaves the Republic of Ireland bottom of their group with the seeding for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifying draw out of their hands.
Only a win over Denmark and a Wales win over Age Hareide’s side would prevent the Boys in Green from suffering relegation to League C, where the likes of Cyprus and Bulgaria await.