Saturday 23 September 2017

McClean hoping he can keep on coming up trumps for Republic

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean is relishing another opportunity to prove himself a match-winner
Republic of Ireland winger James McClean is relishing another opportunity to prove himself a match-winner

James McClean will run out against Georgia on Saturday evening determined to enhance his blossoming reputation as a match-winner on the international stage.

The 28-year-old West Brom winger has already scored three times during Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign, a double which helped to secure three points in Moldova and a precious winner in Austria which went a long way towards keeping the Republic firmly in the hunt for one of the top two spots in Group D.

Another telling intervention in Tbilisi could prove invaluable, and McClean is relishing the opportunity to make his mark once again.

He said: "Scoring three goals is obviously nice - and they turned out to be three important goals. But look, we have got a game tomorrow night and I want to add to that.

"I was unfortunate in the home game against Georgia not to score, having one disallowed and one hitting the bar.

"But we have a game tomorrow night. I have scored three and if I can score some more tomorrow night and it results in us getting a good result, then I'm happy, I'm just looking to do my part.

"I have have to be selected first to score, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow night."

Group leaders Serbia and Ireland, who meet in Dublin on Tuesday night, are currently locked together on 12 points and separated only by goal difference, and Wales and Austria will have to make up four-point gap simply to get back on terms with the pace-setters.

However, McClean, a veteran of two successful European Championships qualifications, knows there is too far to go to start counting chickens.

He said: "There are obviously four games to go and we're in a very healthy position, but as the cliche goes, it would be foolish for us to look past Georgia tomorrow night. That's what all the focus is on, solely on Georgia.

"Every game in the past against Georgia has been tough - it's always been one or two-goal margins - so we know the task ahead of us tomorrow night and like I said, we'd be very foolish to look beyond that.

"We're expecting a very tough game and we need to be at it 100 per cent."

Press Association

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