Clarets defender Keane has the heart of a Lion

Gary's Cahill's forthcoming England suspension has given Clarets defender Michael Keane the fire in his belly to push for his first senior international cap.

Saturday, 10th December 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:37 pm
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The Chelsea centre back picked up a yellow card in the World Cup qualifying Group F triumph over Scotland at Wembley which has ruled him out of the game against Lithanuia in March.

Now, having been called up to Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad on two occasions, the 23-year-old is determined to take the next step by getting some game time.

“In the past it’s not been easy to get picked but I always felt if we got promoted last year I’d have a chance. Our form was good early season, that helps, Heats was in the press all the time with his world-class saves and I was doing well myself.

“I felt we deserved it.I didn’t expect it at the time because we’re a bit of a smaller club than the others but for it to happen was brilliant.

“It’s massive. It gives you that extra motivation once you get that first call up and you go to a few training camps.

“You realise how good it is and you want to make sure that you stay around it. Hopefully I can keep putting performances in, get some good results here, and get in the squad.”

Keane added: “You’ve got to keep setting your goals. My first one was to get in the squad and now I want to get my debut.

“As soon as that happens I’ll be looking to get a start. You can’t rest and be happy with what’s happening. You’ve got to keep striving for more.

“I was there (for the game against Spain) and I was hoping to play but it doesn’t always work out how you want.

“I wanted to play and I wanted to play every minute but obviously it’s the manager’s decision. I was just pleased to be there, I wanted to play but hopefully that will come next time.

“Hopefully it will come. It will be tough, there’s a few good centre halves but I don’t see why I can’t play.”

Meanwhile, on a domestic front, Keane is confident that it’ll be business as usual when Eddie Howe makes a Turf Moor return with AFC Bournemouth.

The Clarets have been in good form at home, taking 13 points from eight Premier League fixtures, and the former Manchester United defender is determined to add to that.

“Our form has been great at home, our fans get behind us really well,” he said. “Teams don’t enjoy coming to Turf Moor...teams like Man City and Liverpool have come and found it difficult.

“We’ve been nice and solid at the back and dangerous going forward so we need to carry on that home form, which has been great.

“We’ve always felt at home, with the fans behind you, we have that extra edge and i’m sure that’s the same for a lot of teams.

“Coming off a great year like last year it feels like a fortress for you, when you go so long without losing.

“We lost our first game of the season against Swansea but since then it’s been completely different, teams don’t enjoy coming here and they find us hard to break down.”