Saturday 24 February 2018

'Confident' Arter keen to build on his promising debut by staying in frame for Scotland clash

Harry Arter: Ireland debut
Harry Arter: Ireland debut
Robbie Brady: Learn in every game
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

There was precious little for the 43,486 supporters to take away from the Aviva Stadium yesterday and although it was a proud day for Ireland's only debutant, Harry Arter wasn't allowing himself get caught up in the moment.

The 25-year-old was introduced as a substitute shortly after the hour mark in front of his family who had travelled from England and although he looked lively, his focus is remaining firmly on Saturday's crunch qualifier against Scotland. "I didn't really think about it too much," he smiled afterwards.

"I just felt that I had to go into the game and try and get it out of my mind that it was my debut and try and treat it like any other game.

"I'm sure in weeks or months to come, I'll look back on it with a lot more pride but at the time, I just wanted to do well when I came on.

"They (family) came over this morning. They probably savoured it more than me and probably felt more pride than I did at the time. I just tried to treat it like any other game."

Arter impressed during Bournemouth's Championship-winning season and the way in which he was always eager to get on the ball yesterday typified his fearless attitude.

Although his promising cameo leaves plenty of room for optimism, Martin O'Neill is unlikely to start him against Scotland but if the call does come, Arter will be ready.

"England was a tough opposition to pick a week before the Scotland game but if anything, it should give us more confidence to go into the Scotland game and go for the win," he said.

"I'm a confident player and as I said, as much as it is international level, I can't really afford to let my feelings get in the way. I have to try and treat every game the same.

"That's what I tried to do today and if I was selected again, that's how I would approach it again."

From an Irish point of view, Robbie Brady was unquestionably the biggest beneficiary from yesterday's soporific contest.

Question marks lingered over Brady as a left full-back but having stifled Raheem Sterling, the Hull player has surely cemented his place in O'Neill's starting XI.

His link-up play with Aiden McGeady and James McClean was one of the major positives to take from the game and Brady admitted that he is feeling more comfortable in his new position.

"You learn in every game you play but with the lads behind me today and talking to me during the week it's helped me and I quite enjoyed it today," the Dubliner said.

"The more you play, the more familiar you get with the position so I'm looking forward to the weekend and hopefully getting a start.

"It's a little bit different to the position that I've been used to playing all season but playing there has helped my defensive side so hopefully today is just another lesson in the left-back role."

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