Thursday 25 December 2014

King hoping 'spirit' shines through

Published 04/03/2014 | 19:42

Ireland under-21 manager Noel King has told his side to keep fighting until the end
Ireland under-21 manager Noel King has told his side to keep fighting until the end

Noel King has challenged his Ireland Under-21s team to keep their dreams of European Championship qualification alive to the death.

Ireland entertain Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium on Wednesday afternoon knowing anything but victory would deal a major blow to their hopes of making it to the finals in the Czech Republic in June next year.

King said: "We want to keep the journey going to the end of the campaign.

"We always want to win every time we play, but we need to ensure we pick up the three points to keep things going in the competition.

"Everybody knows Montenegro are a good footballing nation who have caused trouble to everybody they have played. However we drew 0-0 out there and we created enough chances to perhaps have won the game.

"I'm expecting a tough game, but we are looking for a good all-round performance and a good spirit. If we get that, we will have enough about us to win this game."

Ireland currently lie in third place in Group 6, level on eight points with the Montenegrins, but behind on goal difference with leaders Germany six points clear.

However, Wednesday's opponents have played one game fewer, and the result of the encounter in Dublin could have a major bearing on how the race for second spot pans out.

The 10 group winners and four best runners-up will progress to the play-offs, from which the seven winners will join the hosts in the finals.

Press Association

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