Ireland skipper Robbie KeaneGoogle Images

Ireland captain Robbie Keane has urged the FAI to hand Giovanni Trapattoni a new contract as Irish manager.

Keane believes the improvement in the Irish team in the last two years is enough to warrant a contract extension for the Ireland boss.

Trapattoni has yet to formally negotiations on his current deal with the FAI which expires at the end of the Euro 2012 campaign.

The Italian fears his future will be determined by Ireland’s fate in the bid to reach next summer’s European finals in Poland the Ukraine.

But Keane is adamant the FAI should act now after Ireland warmed up for their September acid tests with a scoreless draw at home to Croatia.

“Yes,” said Keane when asked if Trap deserves a new deal. “It is clear to see the job he has done since he has come into the set-up.

“He is building a good squad. Every player goes on to the pitch knowing exactly what he has to do and from a player’s point of view that is all you want to know.

“It is a massive improvement on the last few years.”

Ireland kept another clean sheet on Wednesday night as Trapattoni’s team stretched their unbeaten run to five games.

“People question these games so close to the start of the Premier League but that was all about preparation for Slovakia,” added Keane.

“The main aim was to concentrate on that. We want to get something out of both games, against Slovakia and Russia.

“We are not going to sit back and look for a draw. We’ve never done that over the years and that’s not going to change now.

“We’ll be going into both games trying to get the win but I don’t think about targets, I will just take each game as it comes.

“Slovakia sets it all up. We will be going into that game desperate to get the three points.

“Then we go to Russia and away from home we are not the easiest team to play against. They are two games I am really looking forward to.”   

Defender Sean St Ledger also had one eye on September’s games with Slovakia and Russia after re-uniting with centre-back partner Richard Dunne at the Aviva.

“It was a good chance to show the manager what I can do again with Slovakia so close,” said the Leicester man.

“That game is only three weeks away now and we all want to play a part in it. It is a huge game in this qualification group.”