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Liam McAlinden

Liam McAlinden

Liam McAlinden

IRELAND U21 cap Liam McAlinden says he's willing to be patient and wait for his chance at Wolves.

The striker, who made his Ireland U21 debut against Montenegro last month, scored his first goal for the Molineux side at the weekend to give Wolves a 1-0 win away to MK Dons, a victory which keeps them very much on course to win automatic promotion back to the Championship.

Loaned out to Shrewsbury Town earlier this season, McAlinden has yet to start a game for Wolves, but the 20-year-old is confident he will get an opportunity.

"I'll just wait for my chance – I know there's two good players ahead of me. And if I do get my chance, I will take it, like I did on Saturday," said the striker (left).

McAlinden finally made his debut for the Republic of Ireland U21s in Dublin last month after a long delay as he needed FIFA to clear the paperwork related to his 'switch' from the Northern Ireland set-up.

WARD IN PLAY-OFF PUSH

STEPHEN WARD hopes that his Brighton side can get their defensive mean streak back in time for the crucial stage of the promotion race in the Championship.

The Seagulls, four points off the play-off places but with a game in hand, have the joint-best defensive record in the division and recently went on a run of conceding just once in four games – but that record has been torn apart with three successive league defeats and Ward hopes things can change, starting tonight against Blackburn Rovers.

"Not only is it the next game, but it's also our game in hand. If we go there and get a result, we're right back in the hunt," he says.

WILLIAMS' LIONS BATTLE

SHAUN WILLIAMS insists that his Millwall side, second from bottom of the Championship, will not give up in their battle to avoid relegation.

Relegation would force an exit from the New Den for Ireland keeper David Forde as he needs to be playing at a high level to retain his position with the national team. It would also be a disaster for former Drogheda United and Sporting Fingal man Williams as he only joined the Lions from MK Dons in January.

"We still believe we can do it. We are not going to stop until the last game of the season and hopefully we can turn it around," said Dubliner Williams.

MOHAN PROUD OF IRISH U17S

TOM MOHAN says he proud of his Ireland U17 side as they closed off their unsuccessful bid to qualify for the European Championship finals with a draw.

The Irish side drew 2-2 with Georgia in Serbia yesterday, the final game of their three-match tournament in the Elite round of qualifying.

Defeat to Serbia, in controversial circumstances, damaged Irish hopes of qualifying for the finals in Malta and a second loss, 4-0 at the hands of the Germans, meant Ireland were out but pride was restored with this draw against Georgia, Ireland taking a 2-0 lead with goals from Nathan Corkery and Adam McDonnell.

"It was a very difficult group overall but the injustice of the first night was the most difficult thing to take this week," manager Mohan said.

FAI FORD CUP 1ST ROUND DRAW

St Michael's v St Francis; Malahide United v Tolka Rovers; Swilly Rovers v UCC; Belgrove/Home Farm v Drumcondra; Leixlip United v St Patrick's CY; Avondale United v Carrigaline United; Bluebell United v Phoenix; Byes: Ballynanty Rovers, St Mochta's, Collinstown, Mayfield United, Sheriff YC, Cockhill Celtic.


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