Thursday 22 February 2018

Martin O'Neill urges Ireland to revive the memories of the Euro 2016 win against Italy ahead of Wales showdown

Robbie Brady of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group E match between Italy and Republic of Ireland at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France. Photo by David Maher / Sportsfile
Robbie Brady of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group E match between Italy and Republic of Ireland at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France. Photo by David Maher / Sportsfile
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill urged his side to revive the memories of their famous Euro 2016 win against Italy as they prepare for Monday night’s crunch World Cup qualifier against Wales in Cardiff.

A 2-0 win against Moldova at the Aviva Stadium paved the way for what is a knock-out game against the Welsh after their 1-0 win in Georgia, with the winners in with a great chance of securing a play-off place to qualify for Russia 2018.

“I just remember that we went to Lille having to win to get into the last 16 (against Italy at Euro 2016) and we did it, so let’s go for this,” declared an upbeat O’Neill. “We know what we have to do now. We have to win a game in Cardiff.”

O’Neill admitted his side lost their drive in the second half of the game against Moldova after two early Daryl Murphy goals, as he reserved words of praise for the in-form Nottingham Forest striker after his brace secured the win.

“We did fine in the first half, got an early goal and followed it up with a great goal from Murph,” he reflected. “Second half, we probably took our foot off the pedal, but it was all about winning the game and it sets us up nicely for Monday night.

“On a night like this, when tension can be high and you are expected to win, early goals are important.”

The Ireland boss gave little away as he faces a series of selection dilemmas ahead of the Wales game, with two of his key men set to return from suspension.

“We have some pretty decent players coming back. James McClean has been fantastic for us in this tournament and Robbie Brady is a very, very good player so it is pretty interesting for Monday now,” he added.

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