herald

Sunday 25 June 2017

O'Neill: We must go forward against the Austrians

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill (R), with Assistant Coach Steve Walford and Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane prior to the international friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill (R), with Assistant Coach Steve Walford and Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane prior to the international friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

A relaxed and smiling Martin O'Neill was more than happy with a comfortable 3-1 win over Uruguay. If nothing else, it removes the memory of Mexico without delay.

"It sets us up nicely, it's a nice win against Uruguay, minus Luis Suarez but still there to beat," he said.

"It was a confidence booster at the very least. We had a stronger side out but I'm far from downbeat with the Mexico game. We had a lot of Championship lads finding their feet in a different system.

"It was nice to win against Uruguay, but everything, physically and mentally is aimed at Austria," added the Ireland boss.

O'Neill signalled that he will favour creativity over caution for the game against Austria and that could see Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady start together for the first time.

"We have to go forward against Austria. I don't want to be sitting here next week regretting that. We have to take some risks," he said.

"We're at home, we've got the crowd and we have to win the game.

"Sure, it's important for Austria but also important for us too."

O'Neill had praise for Cyrus Christie who proved that there is life after Seamus Coleman with a goal-scoring performance which didn't win the official man of the match award but got The Herald's.

"He has big shoes to fill and he has always done well for us.," said O'Neill.

"He's unlucky that someone so brilliant is in front of him, but great credit to him.

"He's desperate to do well."

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