Euro 2012: Robbie Keane ready to play deeper role against Croatia

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane says he will be happy to play a deeper role in Sunday's Euro 2012 Group C opener against Croatia in Poznan.

The Republic's midfield was outnumbered for much of Monday's friendly against Hungary and Giovanni Trapattoni expressed concern after the game.

"I might have to drop deeper on to the [opposition] holding midfielder and not let him dictate the game," said Keane.

"It's more things like that than, say, a formation change."

Republic's 2012 group games

Sunday, 10 June: Croatia

Thursday, 14 June: Spain

Monday, 18 June: Italy

The LA Galaxy striker added: "He's had the same system since he came in, so if anything changes it would be a minor thing.

"We're not going to just go to a 4-3-3 when we haven't done it for a long time."

Trapattoni, in his jumbled English, had given the impression the team's strict 4-4-2 could be changed ahead of the game against Slaven Bilic's side having watched his side struggle in the 0-0 draw in Budapest.

But, having reviewed the match video again, the Italian suggested such drastic action would not be required.

And after Thursday's training session in Gdynia, Keane also insisted there was little chance of such a change of policy by the 73-year-old Italian.

Republic on the road

The Republic of Ireland have only lost one game outside of the country since September 2007 - a 2-0 defeat by Brazil in London two years ago

Both sides have spoken of the game as being the most important of the group with Spain and Italy favourites to progress from Group C.

The two teams played out a goalless draw in Dublin last August.

"Yes, we played against them not long ago, so we know the players they have in the squad," Keane said.

"In any competition you want to start off as well as you can and get points on the board.

"We know we're in a group where anybody can beat anybody so every point is crucial."