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Keane: Clarets' Preparation Helped Me

23 March 2017

Michael Keane revealed his pre-match routine with the Clarets helped him go out and prove his England class.

Keane made an outstanding debut for England in their 1-0 friendly defeat to Germany on Wednesday night.

The Clarets' defender, 24, looked at ease playing on the right-hand side of a back three in Gareth Southgate's first game in charge since his appointment as national team boss last November.

And Keane admitted his work at Turf Moor had been key to how he handled the step up to full international level after finding out on the day of the game that he would make his senior England debut. 

"I got an indication yesterday (Tuesday) in training without it being confirmed and it was confirmed this morning," said Keane in a BBC interview after the game in Dortmund.

"I got my head around it just in case I was starting, and I was.

"I knew what to expect. I had prepared well. I just did all the things I normally do at Burnley and luckily it paid off.

"It's something you dream of as a young  boy. To play for your country is special but to do it in a game like in your first game is something I'll never forget and I'm thankful for."

Michael Keane became Burnley's 75th senior international

Keane - who became Burnley's 26th England international and first outfield player from the club to play for England since Martin Dobson won the last of his five caps in 1974 - went close to scoring early on and then gave an assured defensive display, littered with confident balls out from the back.

Germany won it with a stunning goal from the retiring Lukas Podolski but Keane, an ever-present in the Premier League for Burnley this season, did his cause no harm with a World Cup qualifier to come against Lithuania at Wembley on Sunday.

"It was a brilliant experience for me, playing such a big game on my debut," he added.

"I felt the team played really well. It's game where we take our chances and it's a different story.

"They go and score a worldy. It's one of those things but there are a lot of positives to take and personally I was very proud and honoured to play for the country.

"I felt comfortable. I think had a good start and got a good few early passes away and that gave me the confidence.

"I am playing with a lot of experience around me and always talking to me and getting me in the right positions because I haven't played three at the back for three years.

"I only had two days to prepare but I kept my confidence high and I think I did all right."

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