Martin O'Neill hopeful Shane Long can take up goalscoring burden shouldered by departing Robbie Keane

He also envisages Jon Walters scoring regularly for Ireland in future

BY Raf Diallo 22:49 Wednesday 31 August 2016, 22:49 31 Aug 2016

Ireland's Robbie Keane embraces manager Martin O'Neill after playing his final game for Ireland ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Martin O'Neill hopes Shane Long and Jonathan Walters can fill the goalscoring boots of the departing Robbie Keane.

The 68-goal Ireland record goalscorer ended his international career with a goal against Oman as Jon Walters scored twice.

"I think Jon Walters can take that up," he said on the question of who can take over the regular goalscoring burden from Keane.

"If anything, if I was Shane Long I would be thinking 'I'd like to score rather than being a scorer of great goals, I'd like to be a really great goalscorer'. I think he should look at that there and think 'yeah, I've got plenty of time, [I'm] quick, I've got a lot of things about my game, get into the penalty box and try and do what Robbie Keane has done all his career.'"

O'Neill also paid tribute to an "exceptional" Keane on his final night.

"He's drawn level with Gerd Muller's [Germany] record so that's fantastic and we won't see it broken in my lifetime. Even the youngest in the room won't see that [broken]. Great effort, great career and tonight was really about him," said the manager.

 

 

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week