Monday 11 December 2017

James McClean: We are long overdue a big win

Republic of Ireland's James McClean during a pitchside update
Republic of Ireland's James McClean during a pitchside update

DERRY star James McClean says it's time for some 'Home Rule' from the current Republic of Ireland side to make sure they stay in contention for Euro 2016.

McClean made his senior debut at home to the Czech Republic in 2012, but in his five competitive home games, Ireland have managed just two wins, against minnows Gibraltar and the Faroe Islands, as the Irish side dropped points against Austria, Sweden and Poland in the other outings.

McClean admits that the home form is poor - Ireland's last competitive home win over a major nation was 14 years ago, against Holland - and tomorrow is an opportunity Ireland cannot waste.

"Hopefully we can change that come tomorrow," says McClean, who is almost certain to leave Wigan Athletic this summer due to their relegation from the Championship.

"It's probably overdue, we've had a few big games in the past. The Austria game where we conceded in the last minute, the Sweden game where we took the lead. Hopefully we can put that right tomorrow.

"It's important we win our home games. If we manage that, then the away games take care of themselves. It's important we get the home points on the board.

"We have a round of fixtures left starting on Saturday and it's about how we do, not about how anyone else does. If we get enough points on the table we will be the ones to qualify or reach the play-offs and we won't really care about the teams behind us."

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