Friday 9 December 2016

'We're not going to wipe the floor with other teams' - Martin O'Neill calls for Moldova improvement

Published 08/10/2016 | 16:32

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during a press conference at Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during a press conference at Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Martin O'Neill has promised something more like France than Georgia when Ireland they take on Moldova for three crunch World Cup qualifying points in Chisinau.

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Stung by criticism of his team after a poor but winning display against Georgia, O'Neill knows that his players must improve.

But he underlined the fact that it is only three months since Ireland turned it on in the Euro 2016 finals

"We can play better than that but this will be very tough for us," said O'Neill.

"We can play better and we did this in France.

"It's only a few months since we played brilliantly against Sweden, brilliantly against Italy and France were concerned about us and they went in to reach the final. These things have been forgotten."

Asked whether Ireland seem to do better against big teams and struggle against smaller nations, he disagreed.

"We're not the team that's going to wipe the floor with other teams. We have to fight for everything.

"It's not a case of raising yourself against best opposition. Everyone goes through these games. Portugal won the Euros and lost to Switzerland."

O'Neill must juggle his options, reduced as he is across his squad by injury and suspension but he will have Shane Long available and James McCarthy who both emerged from the game against Georgia in good shape.

"Some of the younger lads are itching to try and get a place in the team and I have a few things to look at in the next few hours."

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