ROBBIE KEANE has admitted he and his Maccabi Tel-Aviv players are in a “difficult” position as they return to the pitch.
The Irish legend and his side have not played a regular role since Hamas’ terrorist attack on civilians attending a festival on October 7.
This caused him, his assistant Rory Delap and his squad to flee Israel.
On a broader level, this led to brutal retaliation by the Israeli regime against Palestine and its residents.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed as a result of the ongoing bombing.
War crimes were committed on both sides, with Israel in particular coming under global criticism for using such brutal tactics against a much smaller enemy.
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As he did before the long-running conflict between the two countries erupted, Keane avoided talking politics at Thursday’s pre-match press conference.
Before the Europa Conference League game – which happens to be against a Ukrainian opponent – he instead focused on how resilient his team had been during such a stressful time for their home country.
He said: “Of course the circumstances are difficult, but when we all got back together it was like a few weeks ago.”
“It just shows the solidarity that the team has had since I arrived and it will always be with us.
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“I was very happy with everyone’s attitude and their application.
“It’s been a good week for us so far and I think this game can’t come soon enough for everyone.”
“Of course we were waiting to see the players, we have had a lot of contact with them over the last few weeks.”
“They have trained very well, they are in good shape, that applies to every player.”
“The mood in the last few days has been very good.
“That’s the essence of a team, what a team is all about, when people really want to play for each other.”