Monday 17 June 2019

Gibraltar boss hoping to build on windy evening in March at the Aviva Stadium

Gibraltar manager Julio César Ribas during a press conference at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Gibraltar manager Julio César Ribas during a press conference at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Gibraltar manager Julio Ribas says his national team side are still learning on the international stage as they prepare to face Ireland in Dublin tomorrow.

The Gibraltar squad arrived in Dublin on Saturday having played away to Georgia on Friday night, a 3-0 loss in Tbilisi, their second successive defeat in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Ribas has to pick up his squad for the test in Dublin, Gibraltar beaten 7-0 on their last visit here in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, but he says he won't use travel fatigue that comes with an away double-header as an excuse.

"This is the situation for all countries. It's the way the tournament is. We knew about it well in advance and we prepared for it. There is the difference that it's 20 degrees warmer in Georgia than it is here at the moment," he said at a press conference in Dublin on Sunday morning.

"But it's the same for everyone, Ireland will have to do it, Denmark will have to do it and the other teams will have to do it. For us, it's just part of our continued growth and development at this level."

Gibraltar restricted Ireland to a 1-0 win in the Victoria Stadium in March and he feels tests like that are needed if Gibraltar, rated as the second-lowest European team in the FIFA world rankings, behind San Marino, are to progress.

"It was a very good game we played against Ireland," he says of the 1-0 loss in March.

"Ireland also played well because it wasn't easy to adapt to the particular conditions on that day but they are a team of a high level. For us the most important thing is that we continue our growth, to be competitive as a team and to continue our development as a national team to get to a stage where we can look to perform and hurt the teams we are up against."

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