Monday 22 January 2018

Brady: Scotland match is massive

Republic of Ireland defender Robbie Brady is hoping to keep his place for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland
Republic of Ireland defender Robbie Brady is hoping to keep his place for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland

Robbie Brady admits Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier shoot-out with Scotland could make or break the Republic of Ireland's campaign.

The 23-year-old, who once again impressed in the unaccustomed role of left-back in Sunday's 0-0 friendly draw with England, is aware that victory over the Scots would rekindle Ireland's hopes of automatic qualification, but is equally conscious that defeat could all but signal the end of their hopes.

In the circumstances, the fixture is one of the biggest in the Republic's recent history.

Brady said: "Definitely it's a massive game, there's no doubt about it and we will be all looking forward to it. We were all up for it on Sunday and it was a decent result.

"But we know what the really important one is, it's the game coming up and it's no-holds-barred. We will be all looking to impress and put on a show for everyone, and go and do the job."

Brady, who troubled England with his dead ball delivery in a game of few clear-cut chances, started at the back in March's 1-1 qualifying draw with Group D leaders Poland and got the nod once again on Sunday.

He is competing with specialist Stephen Ward - who missed much of the second half of Burnley's season through injury - for a place in the team, but while he is still learning the role, he is hopeful that he has done enough to persuade manager Martin O'Neill that he can do the job on Saturday after giving Raheem Sterling a tough afternoon.

He said: "He's always tough to play against. You see him week in, week out and he's a top, top player. I have played against him a couple of times this season and you have got to be alert, you have got to be switched on.

"Any minute of the game, he can open you up with his speed, and he can play. But I enjoyed the challenge. Hopefully I did do enough, but I'll just have to see.

"It's up to the manager at the end of the day, but I'll be doing all I can during the week to hopefully get a starting role."

It has been a steep learning curve for the the Hull youngster, but the advice he has received from O'Neill and his coaches has been supplemented by the experience of his team-mates, and that has proved invaluable.

He said: "With the likes of John O'Shea, Marc Wilson and Paul McShane, it makes it a hell of a lot easier when you have them talking to you all game, so it's been a big help, and I am looking forward to the weekend now."

In the longer term, there has been speculation over Brady's future at club level with the Tigers having slipped out of the Barclays Premier League at the end of the season, although his intention as it stands is to make an immediate return to the top flight with them.

He said: "I'd certainly like to get back into the Premier League as soon as possible, but I'm still contracted at Hull and I'll be fighting for a spot there as well.

"I'll just see how it goes. But I'll be looking forward to the challenge now of hopefully getting straight back into the Premier League."

Press Association

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