| 12.8°C Dublin

Andy Townsend: Ireland must stand up and deliver

Close

Townsend would like to see the atmosphere from the old Lansdowne Road created as O’Neill seeks to mastermind the biggest win to date at the Aviva Stadium.

Townsend would like to see the atmosphere from the old Lansdowne Road created as O’Neill seeks to mastermind the biggest win to date at the Aviva Stadium.

PA

Townsend would like to see the atmosphere from the old Lansdowne Road created as O’Neill seeks to mastermind the biggest win to date at the Aviva Stadium.

Former Ireland captain Andy Townsend says that a win-at-all-costs policy must be adopted heading into Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland.

Townsend, the Irish skipper at USA '94, believes that Martin O'Neill's group must embrace the responsibility of needing to collect all three points - and got the sense they were ready to do so after a chat with John O'Shea at the FAI International Awards earlier this week.

And he feels that the style of play will be irrelevant once they deliver the right result.

"I think all of the players realise the magnitude of the game which I think sometimes every now and again you can't play it down, you can't walk away from it," said Townsend.

"You can't dress it up any other way than it's a seriously big game and that's what this one is. You have to front that up, accept the challenge that's in front of you and go and win the game.

"Don't be consumed by wanting to show how wonderful we are. This little run now, of home games, starting with this one; get out and win this game, however we can. Win the game and then see where it takes us and I think it can take us a long way."

Townsend would like to see the atmosphere from the old Lansdowne Road created as O'Neill seeks to mastermind the biggest win to date at the Aviva Stadium.

"I'd love for our boys to be able to experience that kind of fantastic, almost hostile atmosphere that we were able to create," he added.

"It's a two-way street, partly because of the way we played at that time appealed to them and also we got some good results."

The Irish squad return to training at Malahide this morning after being given a day off to recharge the batteries.

Poland have lost another intended member of their travelling party with Legia Warsaw's Michal Zyro ruled out through injury.

Meanwhile, there was joy for Tom Mohan's Ireland U-17 side in Poland yesterday. They secured qualification for May's European Championships in Bulgaria despite losing their final qualifier to their hosts.

Irish Independent