David Meyler: We need to get in the Germans' faces
TWICE in his career so far, David Meyler has stood toe to toe with some of the best footballers that Germany has to offer the world, and he has yet to finish on the losing side.
Perhaps in those past meetings, the Germans have taken Ireland for granted and then, once they learned they would not have things all their own way found it hard to something from a dogged Irish side, a scenario that could repeat itself here in Dublin tomorrow night at Lansdowne Road.
"We need to get into their faces and make it a tough game," says Meyler (pictured), the Hull City man likely to start in a midfield which is weakened by the absence of Glenn Whelan due to suspension.
"I'm sure you've all watched Germany before, they get the ball down, they pass it around, it looks pretty, you've got to be ruthless, get in their faces, make it uncomfortable and hopefully we can get result."
Meyler is aware that he could be called on to start in a competitive game in his favoured position of midfield, having filled in as an emergency full back away to the Germans 12 months ago, the makeshift defender playing a big part in that 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen.
But Meyler had already seen and dealt with a mighty German side - in fact he made his Ireland U21 debut against Germany back in 2008, a big night for the then-Sunderland man as the game was play in his native Cork.
It was a handy German U21 side as more of their '08 panel have come through (Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Sami Khedira are in Joachim Löw's squad for tomorrow), compared to the progress of the Irish boys (bar Meyler, only Stephen Gleeson and Cillian Sheridan went on to be capped).
That's long since passed but for Meyler, the outcome of the senior game last year has more relevance for tomorrow.
"That German team we played that night were out to win the game, it wouldn't matter if it was before or after the World Cup or whether they won it, they were coming out expecting to beat us," says Meyler, when asked if the Germans still had that World Cup hangover when the sides last met.
"I don't think they were expecting us to put in the performance that we did and I think that's why we got a result in the end. I think they underestimated us a little bit and we worked hard for that."
Depsite taking just one point from two games against Scotland, Ireland can still qualify at the Scots' expense and that's now the aim for Meyler. "If we took those points we could be in a different position now but we are where we are," he says.
"And if you look at the results we had against Germany and Poland, not many would have given us a chance at all but we are where we are and it's down to us to make sure we do well and qualify."