herald

Friday 9 December 2016

O'Neill: Germans a scare at bedtime

German boss Joachim Low
German boss Joachim Low

Scared of the Germans? Martin O'Neill would find it hard to lift himself out his bed if he allowed himself to dwell too long on Ireland's last experience against the world champion's in Dublin, a 6-1 stain on the record books.

"You know yourself what they're capable of doing here, what they did here not that long ago in a match here and of course you have to be careful of all those things. But if I start thinking about what they did here some time ago, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning," he said ruefully.

But O'Neill was quick to accentuate the positive, even if there isn't a great deal to be positive about.

"It's really important to be absolutely positive here and at some stage or another not to have any sort of regret about how we set up, how we want to try and approach the game and how we want to get out of this group," he said.

Things

"And I do know, at one stage or another, regardless of other results, that we have to win a game to be guaranteed the play-offs, either this game or Sunday so all of those things I'll have to take into consideration.

"The main thing, first of all, the players did a little bit of work, I have to assess the physical condition of the players here.

"They're working here with Alan (Byrne), we'll have a little look to see how they came out of that and assess that, have a look again and then start mentally preparing for the match tomorrow."

O'Neill believes that Germany are now stronger than they were when Ireland plundered a point in Gelsenkirchen.

"I think they're stronger now. They would consider their biggest slip-up was against Ireland at home so the result was really fine for us. It kept us there.

"It kept our momentum going having won a couple of matches before that," he said.

"I think they're as strong now as they've been since the World Cup. That said, there is not a side playing, either club or country, that's invincible," he added.

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