herald

Monday 18 December 2017

No worries about winning in Tbilisi

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill

It's been a while since I've had any concerns about Ireland travelling to places like Tbilisi looking for three points.

Martin O'Neill hasn't really put a foot wrong on the road against lower seeds.

I know we have a few injury doubts for the game against Georgia on Saturday but I'm comfortable with the players who will be available.

His Premier League component is small and O'Neill may have to work without Jon Walters and Jeff Hendricks but he has back-up.

For every game in this group so far, O'Neill has had injury worries but somehow he copes. It is crucial that he keeps that record going.

Serbia play Moldova on the same night and will bank three points so the importance of an away win to hold station with them at the top of Group D cannot be understated.

It would allow Ireland to approach the big Aviva clash with Serbia in a week's time buzzing with confidence and maintain their advantage over Austria and Wales.

I'm not being over-confident about Georgia. O'Neill and Ireland have ridden their luck against them but I think the squad is stronger and tougher than a few years back.

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