Tuesday 25 October 2016

'Let's go for it'

Ireland boss O'Neill sounds a rallying cry ahead of play-off tie with Bosnia

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill

Martin O'Neill has sounded a defiant rallying cry for the final chapter of Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifying journey against Bosnia and Herzegovina: "We have to go for it, really go for it."

"There is no point in sitting and shutting up shop and I think the away goal becomes really vital in matches. There are now Champions League matches that have been decided by away goals," said the Ireland boss.

Yesterday's play-off draw in Switzerland paired Ireland with Bosnia-Herzegovina but crucially, gave O'Neill a home fixture for the second-leg at Lansdowne Road on Monday November 16.

O'Neill was pleased to take any advantage available but was notably reticent about discussing the date of the first-leg on Friday the 13th.

"I'll not go there," he said. "I'll refrain from that. If there is any advantage to be gained in playing at home second, that is good but the most important thing is to still be in the competition."

O'Neill remains hopeful that Shane Long will recover in time for both legs. "I spoke to Shane a couple of days ago and he's optimistic," claimed O'Neill.

Bosnia captain Edin Dzeko said: "It would be good if we can get a good result in Zenica ahead of the away leg given that they will be missing a few important players."

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