Saturday 24 March 2018

Ireland my dream team, but this match is 50-50: Estonia boss

Estonia manager Tarmo Ruutli
Estonia manager Tarmo Ruutli

ESTONIA manager Tarmo Ruutli says his Euro 2012 play-off opponents Ireland are ‘his dream team’.

He admitted today: "Sometimes if look at the videos, I dream that it is my team. They have quality players, the team is very good. We will play against a very good team."

Giovanni Trapattoni and his players have spent much of this week insisting they cannot be regarded as favourites to make it to Poland and the Ukraine.

And at a press conference in Tallin today, Ruutli was adamant his team would not be satisfied to play the role of underdogs.

"In this game, I think if you ask simply what chances we have, our chances are 50-50 in this moment.

"We have tasted success already, so we know what it means. We are playing at home.’’

Asked what would represent a good result, he replied with a smile: "Win at home and draw away."

Estonia, which only achieved independence from the USSR in 1991, has never sent a team to the finals of a major tournament.

But reaching the play-offs is an achievement in itself and the manager has put that success down to a hard work and good fortune.

He said: "In this group, it was not easy. You have maybe some luck that you need for success and that's it. We got it.’’

And added midfielder Martin Vunk: "We have grown stronger every game, so we get more confidence from game to game with these results, we feel better with every game."

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