Thursday 18 January 2018

Hendrick - We are not out of it yet

Republic of Ireland's Jeff Hendrick. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland's Jeff Hendrick. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jeff Hendrick has promised Ireland fans travelling to Lille for Wednesday's Euro 2016 date with Italy that Martin O'Neill's squad do not plan to pack their bags to leave France this week.

Saturday's loss 3-0 loss to Belgium in Bordeaux, with the resulting impact on the Republic's goal difference, means that even a win over an Italian side unbeaten in their last 12 competitive games may not be enough to finish as one of the best third-placed teams.

A tall order for Ireland but Hendrick, Ireland's stand-out player in Euro 2016, his first major finals, insists that Ireland's race is not yet run.

"I'm not ready to go home yet," he told The Herald. "In the qualifiers, we bounced back after we got beaten so we have positives from that, we have a game left and we need to be right.

"Every tournament that Italy are in, they are great, they are hard to break down and good on the counter-attack, they played well in their last two games and it'll be tough.

"We have to go there and win, we have nothing to lose, we have to go for it. Anything can happen, it's a cup final game for us, really," he added.

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