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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Late show can get us the win we need - Stevens

Enda Stevens
Enda Stevens

Slow starters but strong finishers - that's been the way for the Ireland side for so often, a system that shouldn't always work but seems to land on our side.

Enda Stevens, almost certain to return to the Ireland starting XI in Geneva tonight after suspension forced him to miss Saturday's scoreless draw in Tbilisi, says he'd settle for more of the same once Ireland get the win they need away to Switzerland to secure a place at the European Championship finals for the third time in a row.

The draws earned at home to the Swiss and away to Denmark were secured with goals scored in the final five minutes, and while a win is the demand for Ireland in the Stade de Genève, Stevens can see it happening.

"We've always finished games strongly. Don't get me wrong, we still want to get the first goal as early as possible and take the lead but we're always confident, especially in Denmark, and we did that," says the left back, at a loss to explain why Ireland are sluggish starters.

"I don't know. It's just how games pan out. Personally, I would like to score as early as possible but it's just how it pans out.

"We are a threat from set-pieces and we have the confidence from the Bulgaria game that we can carry into tonight.

"We always rise to the occasion. They need a result and we need a result, it makes for a big game.

"We're still unbeaten and we know it's going to be difficult but every game in this group has been difficult, it's not been easy for us.

"We have done well and got ourselves to where we are and we just need one last push and hopefully tonight (it will come)."

Stevens was a frustrated spectator for Saturday's 0-0 draw in Tbilisi.

"The positive thing is it's still in our hands and we need to get results and that's what we have to do. We have to move forward and it was important that we didn't lose that game.

"We will look forward to tonight and hopefully get the points we need to qualify," he added.

"We hit the post in the first few minutes and it was a great header from Eegs (John Egan) and you would have seen a different game then.

"That's the disappointing thing, that we didn't build on that chance like we should have done. They didn't really create much and they didn't have a shot on target," added Stevens, likely to replace Matt Doherty.

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