Thursday 26 April 2018

Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter ready to harness 'in-house pressure'

Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter
Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter

Harry Arter insists "in-house pressure" will spur Republic of Ireland on in their bid to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 2002.

Martin O'Neill's men will go into Saturday's testing trip to Georgia level on points with Group D leaders Serbia, who head for Dublin three days later.

They are sure to face a stern test of their credentials in Tbilisi, but Bournemouth midfielder Arter has urged his team-mates to carry on what they have been doing to set up an enticing showdown with the Serbs.

He said: "I feel we've done well enough in this group to not prepare any differently for this game. Preparation-wise, it will be the same for the way it was against Austria and Moldova.

"There's an in-house pressure and goal to get to the World Cup. That will be spurring us on on Saturday."

Ireland have a perfect record against Georgia, which currently amounts to eight wins in as many games, although it took a last-gasp Aiden McGeady strike to secure a 2-1 Euro 2016 qualifier win at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena on their last visit in September 2014.

Georgia have only three points to show for their six games to date, although one of those points was collected courtesy of a 1-1 draw in Wales in October.

Arter said: "I've seen Georgia play a few times and I don't think they've got the results they probably deserved. They're technically very good and it baffles me a little bit how they haven't got more points and been a little bit more successful.

"We watched 45 minutes of them against Serbia in the first half yesterday and they were by far the better side that night, but ended up losing the game. I watched them against Wales in this group and they deserved to win that night as well.

"As I said, I'm surprised they haven't picked up more results. They've got some very good technical players, players that name-wise are not too well known, but technically they're very good.

"We're going to have to be at our very best."

Press Association

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