Tuesday 26 September 2017

Jack Wilshere praises 'tremendous' Irish fans

Republic of Ireland supporters chant for their team during the game.
Republic of Ireland supporters chant for their team during the game.

Jack Wilshere praised both sets of fans for their "tremendous" behaviour as England made an incident-free return to the Republic of Ireland.

Sunday's 0-0 draw at the Aviva Stadium will certainly not be remembered for the quality of football, but nor will it, thankfully, live long in the memory for issues off the field.

It was the Three Lions' first trip to the Emerald Isle since 1995, when their friendly was abandoned after just 27 minutes due to English fans rioting - incidents it later emerged involved far-right group Combat 18.

Those scenes led to understandable concerns of flare-ups in Dublin, although this encounter passed without incident.

England fans refrained from the inflammatory anti-IRA chanting heard all too regularly at recent games and, following in manager Roy Hodgson's footsteps, Wilshere praised the supporters from both sides of the Irish Sea.

"I think both sets of fans were tremendous, very respectful," the England midfielder said. "The players were respectful as well.

7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Gary Leonard, from Dundrum, Co. Dublin, on his way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Gary Leonard, from Dundrum, Co. Dublin, on his way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Pictured is Cian Knowles, 10, from Athy, Co. Kildare. Cian was chosen as the flag bearer for the Ireland v England game through Ronald McDonald House charity. The Ronald McDonald House supports families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. McDonald's / FAI flagbearers event. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
7 June 2015; Pictured is Jamie OShea, 12, from Summerhill, Co. Meath, with fellow flagbearers. Jamie was chosen as the flag bearer for the Ireland v England game through Ronald McDonald House charity. The Ronald McDonald House supports families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
7 June 2015; Pictured is Cian Knowles, 10, from Athy, Co. Kildare. Cian was chosen as the flag bearer for the Ireland v England game through Ronald McDonald House charity. The Ronald McDonald House supports families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. McDonald's / FAI flagbearers event. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland and England flags and scarves for sale around the ground before kick off. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters chant for their team during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England fans during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England players prepare to defend a corner-kick in injury time during the first half. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; A fan gestures towards the England fans during the 1st half. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England supporters during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England supporters during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Derek Smith and Therese Kellepp, from Donaghmede, Co. Dublin. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Flags and scarves for sale outside the stadium ahead of the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; A car festooned with memorabilia ahead of the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Keith Keavey and his son Dáire, age 6, from Lucan, Co. Dublin, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Shane McCormack, centre, with his two sons John, left, age 12, and John, age 11, from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Kadin Coffey, age 7, from Portarlington, Co. Laois, on this way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Gareth Crawley with his 11 month old son Kai, from Dundalk, Co. Louth, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters, from left to right, Ryan McDonald, Gary Dunne and Jack Brody on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Jonathan Gough, age 10, from Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, on this way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Sasha McBride, age 12, from Cavan, on her way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Tara Street Station, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Luke Byrne, age 8, and his father Vincent, from Finglas, Co. Dublin, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Tara Street Station, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

"I think it was just one of those overall respectful, good games. Fair play to both nations.

"It was the same against Scotland, against Wales - those big games against the home nations that want to have the bragging rights, want to be the best in Britain.

"I felt Ireland were a tough opposition. They were ready for it, we were ready for it and at the end of the day I think everybody is happy with the draw."

It was a match Wilshere started from the outset in Dublin - his 27th England cap and first since November due to another injury-hit campaign.

However, the Arsenal midfielder is now "feeling good, feeling fresh" and wants to end the campaign with victory in next weekend's Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia.

"It is the same feeling, the same special feeling when you pull on your shirt for your country, especially in big games like this against tough opposition," Wilshere said.

"All the boys want to go away on their holidays and enjoy it, but before that we've got a big game.

"We want to go off with a win, want to go off with a good performance, want to keep the manager happy, keep the fans happy and keep our unbeaten run going."

Before the trip to Slovenia, Wilshere has the small matter of a Football Association misconduct charge to answer.

The midfielder has until 1800 on Wednesday to respond to the charge brought after he madeg foul-mouthed, anti-Tottenham chants during the FA Cup victory parade.

Asked if he was disappointed with the FA charge, Wilshere told Sky Sports News: "Yeah, I was a little. But you know that is something the FA are dealing with and my club are dealing with so what will be, will be."

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