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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 15:14 GMT
O'Shea regrets Keane's absence
Republic of Ireland defender John O'Shea
John O'Shea says Ireland are missing Roy Keane

Manchester United defender John O'Shea has said the Republic of Ireland would have qualified for the European Championship finals if Roy Keane had been in the team.

Keane quit international football after a public fall-out with the then manager Mick McCarthy during the 2002 World Cup.

In his absence Ireland failed to make it through to Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Keane, however, has continued to play a pivotal role for United after a hip operation.

O'Shea said he would love to team up with him again on the international stage.

"I know what an influence he has on the Manchester United team, so I know what an influence he could have had on the Republic of Ireland team," O'Shea said on MUTV.

"We had a poor start, got it back together but it was just a bit too much. Maybe if we had a Keano it could have been different.

"We needed to win at home against Russia and we still had a chance in Switzerland. I would like to have seen how he would have driven the team.

"I remember watching him in the World Cup qualifiers against Holland and Portugal. They were two of his best performances for Ireland and he was the main reason they qualified."

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12 Oct 03  |  Rep of Ireland

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