Monday 23 April 2018

Relieved O’Shea switches focus to Germany clash as Ireland march on

Republic of Ireland captain John O'Shea
Republic of Ireland captain John O'Shea Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland captain John O’Shea hailed the ‘perfect’ few days after his side picked up a maximum six points while Scotland failed to register a single one.

The win against Georgia last night swung the momentum back in Ireland’s favour as they opened up a four-point gap in third place ahead of Scotland.

“We did what we had to do and got the six points,” a relieved O’Shea said afterwards. “We could have played better and done a lot of things better but if we qualify that won’t be remembered. Clean sheets and thankfully Jonny Walters has stuck that away.

“Everything has gone our way but nothing is done yet. We still know the task that we have to do to get to France.

“There’s still a lot of work. Enjoy tonight. There were lots of positives. Jeff Hendrick, that run for the goal, incredible. Lots of positives but lots of work to do too.

“Because of the games we had, we needed six points. We take care of ourselves and whatever happens. We’ll see how things lie then. We did what we had to do.”

Germany arrive in Dublin next month needing a point to secure their qualification and O’Shea is confident that Ireland can get a positive result against the world champions.

“We know we’re going to have to get a result against Germany or Poland,” he stressed. “It’s going to be the case like that. We’ve done what we have to do and see how people get game time back at club and keep giving the manager something difficult to think about.

“If we can keep everyone fit for those two games it’s very important because everything is going to be put on the line for those two games.”

Glenn Whelan will miss the game through suspension and O’Shea admitted that the Stoke midfielder would be a significant loss.

“We know how important a role he plays for us. It’s one of those things when people talk about what he does for the team.

“He’s an unsung hero. He does all the dirty work in the three-man midfield.”

Meanwhile, Martin O’Neill last night welcomed Roy Hodgson’s decision to put the pressure on Jack Grealish about his international future.

The Aston Villa teenager is dithering over his choice between England and Ireland and Hodgson made his frustration clear

earlier in the week, stating that he was unsure why there was a delay.

O’Neill was asked about the comments from the English boss after last night’s win over Georgia and said: “That’s encouraging. Roy’s not going to hang around. Well done Roy, putting the pressure on.”

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