Thursday 21 September 2017

Georgia boss warns Martin O'Neill's Ireland that his team are playing for 'honour'

Vladimir Weiss
Vladimir Weiss

John Brennan

Tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier between Georgia and Ireland in Tbilisi will hang on which team scores the first goal.

So says Georgian boss Vladimir Weiss who is fed up being congratulated by other managers after his team has played well and lost in the group.

"We've been missing a bit of luck, other factors played their part in not achieving better results than just three draws, but our team will give their all tomorrow. If we can score, our fans will get behind us. If Ireland get the first goal...," and his voice tailed off to silence.

A Slovak, who led his home nation to the 2010 World Cup Finals, Weiss is under pressure to get a win somewhere from Georgia's remaining four matches. Given that two of them are away to Austria and Serbia, it is not surprising that he has targeted this game with Ireland for the win

"We need the result," he said in the pre-match Press Conference, "we have potential - we have a lot of talented players and whether I stay or not that is not important, this is for the honour of the team."

But Georgia are missing four players because of injury, including their captain and their first-choice goalkeeper, and two more squad players, who would have come in, are absent as well with morale among the group quite low.

"Of course that is a very difficult situation for us," Weiss added. "This is an Irish team with experience that went to Euro 2016, it is never easy to play against this Ireland team who are strong physically and good in the air. But everything is possible for us tomorrow if we finish our chances, that is what we have not been doing."

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