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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Martin O'Neill to mix it up in Germany

Martin O'Neill says the attitude of his Ireland players is 'pretty strong' ahead of their qualifier clash with Germany. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Martin O'Neill says the attitude of his Ireland players is 'pretty strong' ahead of their qualifier clash with Germany. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

MARTIN O'Neill will mix things up for Germany and that could mean a recall for Glenn Whelan in midfield and Jon Walters.

But after Wes Hoolahan's command performance against tiny Gibraltar at the Aviva on Saturday night, O'Neill is also examining the possibility of a role for him against the Germans.

"There were three players who played very well in Georgia and had a definite effect on the result of our game, but I've changed things and I might change things around again.

"Wes Hoolahan always does very well at the Aviva, he's been really good in the games I've been involved in since November time, he's always wanting to have that little bit of craft and ability running between the lines, things like that."

"His link up play is very good, but we'll have a look at it. We might have to go into the Germany game with a bit of strength, see how they come out of it.

"Germany are world champions playing in their own ground. You know? With respect," said O'Neill, eyebrows raised.

"So we're going into a match and I hadn't really thought about the defeats that we've picked up against them, but I think we've got a good spirit.

"Of course you can knock spirit by getting well beaten in a game, but that's not our intention going out there. We're going with confidence. I keep going back to the Georgia game and getting those three points on the board was really, really important for us. It gave us a lift.

"When we finish in November we'll have played three away games and one at home and then I think, I was just looking at the programme to remind me again, we go four of the next five at our place which is eventually where things will be decided I am sure.

"The players are delighted in there to have won the match. I was naturally concerned about it and I said that to them - it was a genuine concern - because, historically, we're not great goalscorers.

"But Robbie Keane has scored a hat-trick in 15, 16, 17 minutes and missed another great chance himself, where he maybe became rather flamboyant and tried to flick it over the goalkeeper, but still, really good. Germany, obviously, will pose different problems."

Looking forward to Germany tomorrow and particularly following Poland's shock win in Warsaw on Saturday night, O'Neill has no time for the notion that retirements and a World Cup hangover will make much difference to Jogi Loew when he comes to picking a team.

"I don't think you can put that down. They have a squad, one or two players who didn't participate in the World Cup," said O'Neill.

"They have enough players to be able to not concern themselves with too many injuries. It might be a different story for us.

"If we get turned over in the match and we've had a real go in the game then I think I could possibly live with that. If we've sat in all evening I wouldn't see any point in that and that's been the story of my career."

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