Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bosnia boss: I won't be fooled by Ireland

Ireland's coach Martin O'Neill
Ireland's coach Martin O'Neill

Bosnia's manager says he won't be fooled by sob stories from the Ireland camp about injuries in Martin O'Neill's squad ahead of next month's Euro 2016 play-off.

Bosnia boss Mehmed Bazdarevic will name his squad for the battles with Ireland on Monday but he's aware that Martin O'Neill announced his 40-strong provisional squad this week.

Already missing John O'Shea and Jonathan Walters for the first leg of the play-off, O'Neill has admitted his concerns over the injury status of players like O'Shea, Shane Long and Ciarán Clark, with Stephen Quinn already ruled out.

Bazdarevic has the luxury of an injury-free squad - for now - with the bonus of Edin Dzeko returning to full fitness with Roma.

And he says he won't be lulled into a false sense of security due to O'Neill's woes.

"Of course you are going to be weaker if you are missing four players, but the Irish are not naive," said Bazdarevic. "We won't be fooled by their problems, we are just preparing ourselves as best we can.

"I know for sure we have two very hard matches ahead of us.

"Many of our players are in good form with their clubs and the return of Edin Dzeko to the pitch gives me great optimism," he added.

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