Thursday 14 December 2017

Forget our past history and look to the future, says Stephen Quinn

Stephen Quinn
Stephen Quinn

FORGET past history and look to the future - that's the message from Stephen Quinn to his Ireland team-mates as they try to keep alive the dream of Euro 2016 qualification on Sunday.

Mentions of previous experiences have been tossed around this week, the fact that Ireland's bid to qualify for Euro 92 was damaged by a draw in Poland while fans do not need reminding that, for all the talk about Ireland being strong at home, the last win in Dublin over a big nation in a competitive game was against Holland 14 years ago.

READ MORE: Stephen Quinn: 'Shackling Robert Lewandowski won't be enough to stop Poland'

Hopes have been raised by Ireland's recent displays against the Poles - unbeaten and two clean sheets in two friendly games - but that all goes out the window for Hull City man Quinn.

"I know it's an old cliché but you can't go back as far as there, the past is the past," he says when asked about that famous 2001 win over the Dutch.

"We've got to look forward here now and just try and concentrate now on Poland, what their pros and cons are and try and capitalise on their cons, really.

"Everything is irrelevant at this stage. The fact that we had a good gap since our last games as well, and the season, all the lads have a

good season under their belts and are well into it so you can't take the friendly games [against Poland] into it, it's completely different and you are playing for three points in the qualifiers."

Quinn has made an impact in the group so far but with Glenn Whelan fit again, places in midfield are hard to come by, but the former St Pat's man is desperate to play.

"It's all to play for, it's such a tough group, everyone knows how big this is going to be, a full house, sold out, it's a massive game," he says.

"They are a good team, we have been watching videos of them throughout the week and we have to try and counteract their set-pieces.

"Obviously I want to be involved, the manager picks the team on how he see it and how he wants to play the game, we have some key players back from injury who had missed the Scotland game, the squad is looking strong and healthy.

"There are lads who have been here a long time and you can never rest on your laurels, you have to come back and show the manager you're willing and able, are still working hard for a place, no one is guaranteed a starting spot, the squad is stronger than ever with some great additions and the manager will have some headaches," he added.

"I have enjoyed my spells when I have started or come on. I have made an impact and I am enjoying it, hopefully I can keep working hard in training, get noticed and hopefully do a job when needed.

"Our away form had been quite good up until the Scotland game, Germany away and Georgia away getting good points there.

"So maybe we would have to but we've got to look forward and take the three points on Sunday," added Quinn, who may have to setttle for a place on the bench as James McCarty and Glenn Whelan are likely to win the central midfield spots, with new boy Harry Arter now on the scene and adding to the pressure on Quinn.

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