Saturday 18 November 2017

WATCH: Ray Houghton keeps his composure after being sprayed by sprinklers before Denmark match

Former Ireland international Ray Houghton was sprayed by the Aviva Stadium sprinkler system just seconds after complimenting the state of the pitch.

Houghton was making a point about how it was pivotal that the Irish players play with a sense of belief in each other ahead of the second leg of their World Cup play-off with Denmark when he was sprayed by the rotating sprinkler system.

To Houghton's credit, he kept his composure as he carried through with the rest of his point, but there is an undeniable sense of irony in the fact that he was caught out by the Aviva Stadium irrigation system just moments after complimenting the very surface it hydrates.

Ahead of tonight's game Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has called on Euro 2016 stars Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick to recover their French form and drive Ireland to the World Cup.

The Ireland boss believes the midfield pair are capable of moving up a level from their performances in regular qualifying with suspensions and a loss of form limiting the Burnley duo's influence.

They still played their part in key moments with Hendrick creating the winner in Wales and Brady assisting equalisers against Georgia and Serbia.

But the manager has challenged the childhood friends to do more.

"Some players maybe in certain games haven't played as strongly as they have (before) but that's just part of the whole game," said O'Neill, responding to a query about Brady by bringing his club-mate into the discussion too.

"This is where we've arrived, this is where we're at now, and it will need big performances in the Aviva.

"Robbie, Jeff and I think all those boys who forged great reputations in the Euros know that but they should take something from it (French memories). While every minute has not been glorious for them, they are still capable of doing it."

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