King gunning for Kazakhstan scalp to avoid 'dud' boss label
NOEL KING has admitted that he is desperate for a win in tomorrow's concluding World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan to avoid being remembered as a 'dud' interim manager.
The caretaker boss has told supporters that his team will approach the game in a positive manner after receiving criticism for his strategy in Friday's 3-0 defeat to Germany in Cologne.
He will again wait until the day of the game before confirming his team but received a boost yesterday when skipper Robbie Keane joined in. Ireland's record goalscorer will lead the line if he comes through this evening's training session.
King has encouraged fans to turn out for what is an unattractive fixture on paper and admitted that his legacy will be damaged if he fails to send out a team good enough to secure the three points.
"I do feel responsible because you don't want to be a dud," said King. "You don't want to be seen as the dud interim manager.
"I will tell you what I am encouraged by – I am encouraged by the texts and calls from people around my old neighbourhood, the football community, the Cherry Orchards, Home Farms, St Kevins who are at grassroots level and wishing you well," continued the Dubliner.
"If they come, and I hope they do, I hope we don't disappoint.
"Every opportunity we get in the game, we will try to play. They (fans) will get honesty and they will get attacking (football) if we can attack. But they must appreciate that defence is a skill, a very important aspect of the game. If we get that understanding, we could turn the Aviva into a fantastic place."
King is mulling over changes to his team, with Andy Reid expected to come into his plans and Richard Dunne and John O'Shea also available after suspension.