Given aiming for holiday boost
Goalkeeper Shay Given admits it would ruin his summer if Ireland leave Macedonia without three precious Euro 2012 qualifying points.
The 35-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign with Manchester City after losing his place to Joe Hart and then suffering a shoulder injury which required surgery. However, he returned to action for his country in last week's Carling Nations Cup victories over Northern Ireland and Scotland and will run out at the newly-renovated Philip II Stadium in Skopje intent on completing a hat-trick of wins.
Given said: "It would be good to win this one and finish the season on a high. It's important that we get the right result because we would be seething for the whole summer."
A win in Macedonia would complete a double over Mirsad Jonuz's side and take Ireland to 13 points from a possible 18 with they, Slovakia and Russia currently all level on 10.
However, Ireland's last visit to Skopje in October 1999 ended in misery, thanks to a last-gasp Goran Stavreski equaliser which effectively cost them a place at the finals of Euro 2000.
Alan Kelly was between the posts that night, but Given remembers it well.
He said: "I was in Donegal with friends watching it. It was heart-breaking for everyone.
"I was talking to Alan Kelly about it and he said the referee said it was the last kick of the game. The corner came in and they scored.
"But that's the past it's about what happens today. Macedonia showed in Dublin they have a pretty good team. They have some very good players going forward.
"But I personally think if we can get at them, they have some weakness at the back and if we impose our game on them, we have a good chance of getting the right result."