Saturday 16 December 2017

Battling Ram Cyrus says he's the man to fill Coleman's boots

Republic of Ireland's Cyrus Christie
Republic of Ireland's Cyrus Christie

Everyone who has an interest in Irish football knows that Seamus Coleman's boots are pretty big ones to fill.

But despite his struggles at club level last season, and the fact that he's never played in the top flight or in Europe, Derby County man Cyrus Christie says he knows he can do the job and fill in for Coleman in the Irish defence until the injury-stricken Ireland captain is fit again.

By the time Austria come to Dublin in nine days' time, Christie will have had two auditions for the role, in the friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay. It's a big ask to replace Coleman but a confident Christie feels he can do it.

"I back my ability always," says Christie.

"Seamus is a fantastic player. I've touched on it many a time about how a fantastic player he is and how he'll be a big miss.

"Seamus is injured now. For me, I need to step up and kind of do it for him too. He's backing me and he fills me with confidence.

"Everyone here, the manager, staff and players give me confidence to go out and do what I do. For me it's about going out and implementing my style.


"With Seamus we're similar in some ways and different in others. I just want to go out and play my game. Hopefully I can fill his boots," added Christie.

"Hopefully I will play in the games and do well and put thoughts in his mind [Martin O'Neill] but the manager knows what I'm capable of and he knows what I can do and it's up to him whether he wants to pick me.

"All I can do is do my best and put my name in the hat to get picked and go from there."

Last season was a tough one for Christie, and his club. Derby finished off the pace in the promotion race and went through three managers while Christie started only 24 games, a result of injury and a lack of confidence in him from managers.

He spent some time in the USA, in between the end of the club season and this international camp, to get specialised treatment but he knows that he has a battle to win over his club boss.


"I feel that I'm one of the best full backs in that league and on my day I think I am the best in the league," Christie says.

"For me it's about playing my game and sticking to it and adapting to what the manager says. At the end of the day, they pick the team, they know what's best for them, that's their style and you have to adapt.

"I'll do that, I'm old enough now and mature enough and have had enough experience in this game to know what managers want and don't want and, like I said, I'm not going to worry about that.

"I'm going to focus on the national team and to play for this country and do well and qualify for the World Cup," he added.