Robbie Keane is looking forward to facing his former club Wolves on Saturday and the man who gave him his best international experiences.
Mick McCarthy was in charge of the Republic of Ireland when last qualified for a major tournament, with the World Cup in 2002.
And Keane is relishing coming face to face with his former boss this Saturday as Wolves come to visit the lane.
He told the club’s official website, “We have to be ready. I know Mick McCarthy very well and I know how he gets his players going. He’s a tremendous manager and a great motivator and if we think for one moment that we just have to turn up at White Hart Lane to win, then we’ve got another thing coming.
“If we stick to the way we are playing at the moment, then we should get the three points, but it doesn’t matter how we get them, the most important thing is to win the match and we’ll be ready for Wolves, no question.
“The World Cup in 2002 was fantastic and the Wolves players who are with him at the moment all love him too. He’s an honest manager and you know exactly what he wants from you and he’s done brilliant with Wolves.”
Keane has a lot to thank Wolves for, as they gave him his first opportunity in the professional game, scoring two gaols against Norwich in 1997.
“That kick-started my career. Mark McGhee gave me the chance to play in the first team and I had only just turned 17 at the time.
“I’d never even played a reserve game for Wolves but went straight into the first team and that was a great moment in my career.
“It was the first game of the season and my mum and dad were there, so it was obviously a very special moment for me. To then score two goals as well on my debut, well it was just every boy’s dream and I was delighted it happened to me.
“I always dreamed as a kid to play professional football and to be given the chance at such a young age was fantastic.”
Last time the two teams met, Keane was on top form as he bagged a hat-trick on the way to a 5-2 victory.
“It was my first game against Wolves after I’d left them. I’ve got great memories of Wolves, they gave me my first chance in professional football and I owe them a great deal.
“Wolves will always be in my heart because as a kid leaving Dublin to go over there was difficult, but to have Wolves and the people there looking after me was brilliant. I’ve got fond memories of that and I certainly look forward to the game on Saturday.”
Have something to tell us about this article?