Sunday 9 December 2018

Austria boss confident

Austria manager Marcel Koller. Photo: Sportsfile
Austria manager Marcel Koller. Photo: Sportsfile

Austria's under-pressure boss Marcel Koller feels that history and home advantage can work for his side in their bid to outwit Ireland on Saturday and get back into the hunt for World Cup qualification.

Hailed in Austria for leading the side to Euro 2016, Koller has been criticised since then as the side flopped in France over the summer and have been less than impressive to date in the World Cup.

Plans for Saturday's home qualifier have been hampered with a series of injuries. Already missing keeper Robert Almer, then Watford defender Sebastian Prodl pulled out and just before the squad linked up in Vienna, Werder Bremen midfielder Zlatko Juzunovic also withdrew.

But the boss is confident ahead of Saturday. "We are a good side who can play well," he says.

"We are playing at home on Saturday and our fans will back us. And we have beaten Ireland before," he added, referring to Ireland's poor record against the Austrians as they have the edge in this fixture over the years and of course beat Ireland in the last World Cup campaign, that 1-0 win in Vienna ending Giovanni Trapattoni's time as Ireland boss.

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