Euro 2016: Republic must be more streetwise against Italy, says Roy Keane

We must be more streetwise - Keane
Euro 2016: Italy v Rep of Ireland
Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille Date: 22 June Kick off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app

The Republic of Ireland must be more "streetwise" when they face Italy in Wednesday's final Euro 2016 Group E match in Lille, Roy Keane says.

Assistant manager Keane has told the players to be prepared to "take out" an opponent if needed, in a game they must win to reach the knockout stages.

"My advice would probably be, yes, take him out," he said.

"We saw Italy do it against Belgium - a player did it on the halfway line and got a yellow card."

The Republic are hoping striker Jon Walters may be fit to start after being dogged by an Achilles problem.

Win at all costs?

Keane has called for drastic action from the players to avoid a repeat of Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Belgium, which has left them struggling to make the last 16.

It was the nature of the defeat in Bordeaux which disappointed former national team captain Keane, with missed tackles by James McCarthy and Ciaran Clark contributing to both of Romelu Lukaku's goals.

Keane said: "We're not here to make friends - the fans are doing that.

"You have got to be streetwise in this game.

"But from the players' point of view, if you smell danger, if you can hold the player up and you can win the ball, fantastic.

"But if you think, 'We're in trouble here', then yes, you do whatever you can to get the right result and if that's fouling, then you foul.

"It's not a crime. You might get a yellow card - you might even get a red - but your team might win."

Group E table

Stoke City striker Walters started the Republic's 1-1 draw with Sweden in the Stade de France but was substituted after 64 minutes when his Achilles problem flared up again.

He was then forced to sit out the Belgium game altogether.

"Hopefully he can do something. It's still very much touch and go," said Keane at Monday's press conference at the team's base in Versailles.

"If you speak to the player, he's improving every day but the game is coming up quickly."

Walters has scored 10 times in 40 appearances for his country and Keane added: "We know the type of lad Jon is and I think if there's any chance he thinks he can get through it he'll have a go".

"Even if we managed to get Jon on the pitch for an hour, it'd be fantastic.

"Of course, you have to look after the player's welfare - if he doesn't feel right, it's highly unlikely he'll be involved."

The Republic head into the game in Lille propping up Group E but a win against Italy - who are already certain to advance to the last 16 as group winners - may be enough to take them through.

Keane is upbeat they can follow a poor performance against Belgium with a positive result.

He said: "It's been done before. It's not an impossible mission we're on.

"We had a bad day at the office the other day.

"I appreciate there was some negativity for the past one or two days, but this team has bounced back before.

"You have to deal with the setbacks and the disappointments because football is more about that than the good days. I think we'll be fine and come Wednesday we'll be ready."

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