Monday 19 February 2018

Ireland will have to play ugly to prevail in Georgia - Randolph​

 

Darren Randolph pictured during Republic of Ireland Squad Training at FAI NTC in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Darren Randolph pictured during Republic of Ireland Squad Training at FAI NTC in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Daniel McDonnell​

Darren Randolph says that Ireland's willingness to do the 'dirty stuff' will determine the success or otherwise of their trip to Georgia.

Martin O'Neill's men landed in Tbilisi last night for the first leg of their pivotal double-header and Randolph believes that the travelling party have to be prepared to win the ugly way to maintain their World Cup push.

"You know it's going to be tough and you have to do the horrible things, the dirty stuff, first and hopefully the quality comes off the back of that," said Randolph.

"In football, you come up against the so-called smaller teams and everyone thinks it's going to be a walk in the park but a lot of the time those are the hardest games.

"As long as we're prepared to do that stuff, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't come out on top."

boost The Irish party received a boost ahead of the game when Jon Walters came through training in Abbotstown just eight days after he sustained ankle ligament damage for Burnley in an EFL Cup game with Blackburn.

John O'Shea also came through full training after picking up a knock, although he is an unlikely starter with Ciaran Clark and Shane Duffy available.

David McGoldrick has missed out on the trip for personal reasons, meaning that Walters is just one of three strikers in the 24-man squad along with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long.

Randolph is a certain starter for Ireland after sorting out his club future with Middlesbrough, but Georgia are contemplating a change between the sticks.

First choice Giorgi Loria has been frozen out by his Russian club Krylia Sovetov and has made a loan move to Anzhi Makhachkala where he has failed to feature.

Due to his inactivity, Portugal-based Giorgi Makaridze is a strong contender to get the nod. Poland-based striker Nika Kacharava is out due to a virus with the hosts already without key man Tornike Okriashvili.

Irish Independent

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