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‘There are no guarantees. It’s a new game’ – Josh Cullen believes June win over Scotland counts for nothing now

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Josh Cullen during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Josh Cullen during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Josh Cullen during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

For Ireland midfielder Josh Cullen, it’s all about looking forward, not back to Ireland’s win over Scotland in June or Scotland’s fine 3-0 win over Ukraine on Wednesday night.

Cullen has become a fixture in Stephen Kenny’s Ireland side and is looking forward to a big performance from the Boys in Green against Scotland at Hampden Park on Saturday night in the Nations League.

“Last night was a good result for Scotland. They were full of energy and confidence. Now we’ve got to go there on Saturday. It’s a new day and we must do our business,” said Cullen. “We’ve had a full week to prepare for this game and we’re ready now. But our main focus is on us and what we do.

"We’ve analysed Scotland and we see areas where we can get joy in the game and we see areas where they will look to hurt us, so we’ve got to try and nullify that.”

He believes the win over Scotland in Dublin three months ago will have little to do with this second meeting.

“Ah look, the goals we scored were important. Troy (Parrott) got a great one and then Michael (Obafemi) came up with a bit of magic.

“We take the belief with us that we can score goals against them, yes, and we won the individual battles that day. But there are still areas to improve and there are no guarantees. It’s a new game.”

Cullen insisted the players will stick with their possession game, even if mistakes happen. “It would be a waste of everyone’s time if we worked on stuff all week and then shied away from it as soon a mistake is made. We trust what the manager is saying and we’ll stick with that philosophy.”

The midfielder is enjoying life at Burnley, where manager Vincent Kompany brought him back to English football from Anderlecht.

“I enjoyed playing under him and take it as a compliment that he brought me to Burnley,” Cullen says, but the move has not been without its shock and awe.

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“I’ve enjoyed my start at Burnley. We’re playing the same style as with the boss at Anderlecht, and that style seems to suit my game.

“We’ve done well to get to where we are now with Burnley, but it’s a long season in the Championship and we’ve a long way to go before we can think of promotion.

“In Belgium, it was just one game a week. It was a little bit of a shock to the system to come back to playing so regularly, Tuesday, Saturday. But every player wants to play, and you just get on with it.”


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