Alan Kelly has tipped Robbie Keane to go on to win 150 caps for Ireland. Kelly added: “You have to have that desire and enthusiasm. Everybody said about him travelling over all the way for the England game and getting away from the Galaxy just because he wants to play in the games. That’s infectious, to me anyway, and hopefully it is to the rest of the lads.” Kelly is well placed to assess Keane’s contribution since he made his senior international debut as a teenager in March 1998. He was still a member of the squad at the time and admitted the Dubliner’s precocious talent was obvious from the off as they went head-to-head on the training pitch. Kelly said: “I think I was in the squad when he first came in, and subsequently I have seen him rise all the way through from where he started to the iconic status he has now. “His awareness, his perception, the ability he has to find space – the ability to create time and space on a football pitch is what marks the great players out, and Robbie is undoubtedly up there. I remember having many duels – which I lost on regular occasions – in these games you see out there. “You’d think you had closed every angle down and you’d think you’d stopped the goal, and ‘boom’, back of the net and he’s wheeling away and smiling at you and saying ‘Better luck next time’.” Manager Giovanni Trapattoni will hope to be able to rely on Keane’s eye for a goal once again as the Faroes arrive in Dublin for a game Ireland simply must win if they are to stand any chance of emerging from Group C. Press Association The 32-year-old striker will set a new national record when he leads his country out for Friday night’s World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands, his 126th senior appearance. Keane extended his goalscoring tally to 56 in Sunday’s 4-0 friendly victory over Georgia, and goalkeeping coach Kelly has no doubts that there is more to come. Asked if the Ireland captain could go on to reach 150 caps, he said: “Why not? Look at him, he’s running around like a spring chicken. I wish I had his knees.”
“I don’t have a total (in mind) but I think the improvements you see – four goals last season and four goals already this season,” Bolasie said. “You don’t just build a player overnight, everything has to come gradually. “I don’t think people really expect it. I wasn’t really in the box last season but this season I am in the box a lot more, I am picking up little scraps and so far I have got goals off scraps. “I think it’s all down to the gaffer and what he does in training and you can see it in the boys.” After the disappointing loss to Sunderland on Monday, Palace were keen to move on and give something back to the supporters. “It was a great result for the team,” Bolasie said. “It was good to bounce back from Monday’s result. “Today is obviously encouraging for us and we will move on straight away to focus on Everton next week. “In football, I think it is how you bounce back and you could say the attackers on Monday were a bit disappointed. The south London side thrashed Newcastle on Saturday, with the 5-1 win seeing the Eagles rise to seventh in the Barclays Premier League table. Bolasie netted twice in the comprehensive win, taking him to four overall – the same tally he managed over the whole of the 2014/15 campaign. Press Association “Today more than made up for Monday, but the game is gone today and we have to look forward to Everton. “It’s done a lot for confidence and we play Everton next week, who are another team who we normally have good games against, but every season is different so that will be another tough game for sure.” Bakary Sako is out of the clash with a hamstring injury and Wilfried Zaha is suspended, but Bolasie is not concerned about the strength in depth. “It’s tough right now but hopefully someone like Chungy (Lee Chung-yong) can come in and step up to the plate and that’s the reason why we have such a good squad. “You think of the players who have been left out, like Frazer Campbell, Jordan Mutch, so there are still players who can come in and do a good job.” Yannick Bolasie is delighted to have already equalled his last season’s goal tally and believes Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew deserves all the credit.