Monday 20 November 2017

Martin O'Neill insists Irish players will be playing to get Seamus Coleman to the World Cup

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, right, with goalkeeper Darren Randolph during a press conference at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, right, with goalkeeper Darren Randolph during a press conference at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

MARTIN O'NEILL says that the chance to get Seamus Coleman to a World Cup will be on the minds of the Ireland players in Cardiff tomorrow.

Ireland's captain has been absent since suffering a broken leg in March's scoreless draw at the Aviva Stadium between the Celtic neighbours.

O'Neill was asked if gaining revenge for Coleman would be on the mind of the Ireland squad ahead of the must-win encounter. He tried to swerve that specific angle yet admitted that Coleman has always been used as motivation by the group.

"I don't know about revenge but certainly there would be a view amongst the players that if Russia was available to us and we could make it there, Seamus would be very much to the forefront of our minds.

"He's obviously a class player, a world class player, he's been essential for us and we've missed him. He's making a good recovery now."

But Coleman's team-mates need an epic performance to overtake Wales and prolong their interest in the competition provided that results elsewhere go their way. In his pre-match press conference, O'Neill again brought up the Euro 2016 success over Italy in Lille.

"The approach will be similar to Italy in Lille, a lot of verve and determination and closing them down. It's not that far back in the memory. There's a bit of everything in it, there's a bit of patience too but at the same time we know at the end of the 90 minutes that we've got to find ourselves in front. We're capable of doing that."

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