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St Ledger itching to get back in the game

IRELAND'S Sean St Ledger is hoping there are no cock-ups on the field of play in Armenia tomorrow night as he resumes international duty at the heart of the Irish defence, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

The Preston man (pictured below) was unable to play in Ireland's last game, the friendly with Argentina, as he was recovering from surgery, but that didn't stop him coming to the capital to see the game.

But his status as a senior international didn't count for much as St Ledger had to stand in line and queue for his tickets like everyone else, with massive queues outside the ground forcing many people -- including squad members St Ledger and Shane Duffy -- to miss the start of the game.

"There was a massive queue for tickets. I left it late getting there and I went to the wrong place. It was bitterly disappointing not to play in the game against Argentina in such a great stadium, but hopefully I can make up for it tomorrow," said St Ledger, who admits that the Irish side, who only arrived in Yerevan late last night, are in the dark about their opponents.

"We don't know what to expect from Armenia. They don't have too many famous players. But we will do our research and our homework and prepare like we always do, I will do my research on the strikers.

"They will be sharp. From what we have been told so far they are pretty nippy up front, but we are confident from how we performed in the last campaign. If we can reproduce some of that form in these qualifiers, we should be fine.

"I know that they beat Ireland 4-1 and 2-1 in the U21 qualifiers and that one of their players scored a hat-trick."

Since he made his debut against Nigeria last year, St Ledger has established himself in the Irish defence -- Argentina was the first game he missed. There were fears he could miss this game as he was substituted early in the Carling Cup, but he said: "It was just a precaution, the manager didn't want to take any risks."