Friday 20 September 2019

Williams sets sights on claiming left-back spot

Ireland's Derrick Williams. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland's Derrick Williams. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Having made his debut in Ireland's 2-0 defeat to France, Derrick Williams is hoping that he made enough of an impression on Martin O'Neill to ensure that it was his first of many caps.

Stephen Ward has been the manager's first-choice left-back in recent times, but Williams believes that he is good enough to give O'Neill a selection headache next season.

The 25-year-old had a couple of nervy moments against a quality French attack and his chances to get forward were severely limited, but he was pleased with his overall performance.

"I want to put pressure on Stephen," the Blackburn defender said. "There is a couple of other left-backs in the squad as well. I want to make sure Martin thinks, 'Yeah, I want him to play'.

"Hopefully it's just a start. I've got to keep working hard and see how it goes.

"Playing against France was unreal. What a feeling. It's a dream come true, really. It's something you dream of as a kid and it wasn't a bad place to make your debut.

"I thought I did okay. First half, I could have been better on the ball but second half, I played my way into the game a bit better.

"When Martin said I was starting, there were a bit of nerves. But when I walked out onto the pitch it was, 'Ahh, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I might not get this chance again'.

"You've just got to step up to the occasion. I think I did that. I didn't feel too much out of place. It was good."

Irish Independent

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