McClean hails Keane influence

Winger James McClean says he channelled Roy Keane when he scored the winner for the Republic of Ireland in their World Cup qualifier with Austria.

The West Bromwich Albion winger netted the only goal of the game after 48 minutes at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Wien on Saturday.

The result saw The Green Army claim top spot in Group D with an impressive 10 points from their opening four matches, and McClean admitted that the Republic of Ireland assistant manager "would have killed him" if he had missed his chance.

After the game, a delighted McClean said: "If I'd missed the target I think Roy would have killed me. Roy hammers us in training about making sure we hit the target. He drums that into us.

"So when I was going through I was just thinking if you hit the target you've always got a chance. I've managed to hit it sweetly, it's flew through the 'keeper's legs and hit the back of the net."

Up next for the unbeaten side is a clash with Wales, in March, and McClean says their away win over Austria was massively important to their World Cup hopes.

He added: "It's huge. If you look at this group there's no world class teams, let's be honest. But there's four very good teams and Georgia's not a bad side either. Sometimes that's harder because we're going to take points off each other.

"For us, it's about getting as many points as possible off the teams that are going to be around us. To come away to Austria, which is no mean feat, and get three points – we're delighted. It's a massive result.

"Hopefully that gives a platform to really believe that we can win this group. We've got Wales next, so that's not going to be an easy game either. We've got momentum, we're top of the group, so we're delighted."

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