Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Neill's Hoops almost left out in the cold

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

SHAMROCK Rovers' European showdown with Rubin Kazan will go ahead tonight in sub-zero temperatures, but the Hoops' hosts have admitted that the League of Ireland champions almost paid €80,000 and made a 4,000-mile round trip for nothing.

Rubin boss Kurban Berdyev revealed that he was concerned that the match wouldn't go ahead earlier this week due to heavy snow and storms in the Russian city.

Kazan had investigated the possibility of moving the game to Moscow because of the weather.

Flights were temporarily grounded here on Monday due to the conditions, but the milder temperatures in the intervening period will allow the match to go ahead -- much to the relief of the travelling party. A plough was used to clear the pitch before they trained at the match venue last night.

However, Rovers' skipper Dan Murray admitted that his team are entering into an away test that no League of Ireland side has faced before and boss Michael O'Neill said he has never been involved in a game where the chill will be such a factor.

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