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Friday 20 October 2017

We will do our best to stop the Republic, says Moldova boss

Moldova boss Igor Dobrovolski is determined to spoil the Republic of Ireland's World Cup dream
Moldova boss Igor Dobrovolski is determined to spoil the Republic of Ireland's World Cup dream

Igor Dobrovolski has warned the Republic of Ireland that Moldova are determined to spoil their World Cup party as they look to end a four-year wait for a competitive victory.

The Moldovans will run out at the Aviva Stadium on Friday evening having not won a competitive match since they beat Montenegro 5-2 in Podgorica in October 2013, but desperate to add to the meagre two Group D points they have collected from their opening eight World Cup qualifiers.

If they do so, they will wreck Ireland's hopes of securing a play-off berth and, having held Wales at 0-0 for 80 minutes in Chisinau last month, they fully intend to make life just as difficult for Martin O'Neill's men.

Manager Dobrovolski said: "We tried to do this with the other national teams, we tried this with Wales. We try to do whatever we can and play as well as we can.

"We have never lost confidence - we have never lost confidence before the match, after the match - regardless of if we have been at home or away.

"At the same time the confidence can be there, and we still lost 2-0 [to Wales]. But after losing a match, there cannot be any confidence; when they win a match, there is."

Moldova also made life difficult for Ireland in Chisinau in October last year when striker Igor Bugaev cancelled out Shane Long's second-minute opener on the stroke of half-time and then frustrated the visitors until James McClean won it with a late double.

Dobrovolski said: "We cannot insure against any mistakes. There were some mistakes, we conceded some goals.

"We want the team to play as confidently and as aggressively as possible, and at the same time we do not have anything to lose at the moment."

Asked if victory in Ireland would make the campaign a success, Dobrovolski replied: "No. Nothing depends on just one game."

The coach's downbeat mood was matched by that of defensive midfielder Alexandru Gatcan, who lined up for club Rostov against Manchester United in the last 16 of last season's Europa League.

Asked if his team had got what they deserved from the campaign, he said: "I don't think we have achieved anything and I believe it was probably one of the weakest campaigns for qualification for the World Cup for our national team."

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