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McCarthy wary of Andorra surface

JAMES McCARTHY has warned his Ireland team-mates of a pitch battle in Andorra on Friday night.

Ireland have to take on Group B's bottom side in the tiny Estadi Communal stadium in Andorra La Vella on Friday night, a pitch on which Slovakia have already struggled to get a 1-0 win in this group and Wigan star McCarthy is wary of the surface.

"A lot of people have written off Andorra but it's a tough place to go. It's a small stadium and the pitch isn't great from what we've been told," McCarthy told the Herald.

"I remember games like this, especially from my time in Scotland, going to somewhere like Berwick Rangers in the Cup, a bad night and a tough pitch, lashing rain, cold.

"It's going to be tough but we'll go there and give it our best shot. We've worked hard as a group and we'll see if we can get the wins we need."

Meanwhile Slovakia have struck in a blow in the PR war ahead of their vital clash with Russia in Zilina on Friday by vowing to earn three points.

"We need six points from the last two games, we have beaten Russia in this group already and I am sure we can do it again," Slovakia manager Vladimir Weiss said today.