Monday 20 November 2017

O'Neill takes cautious approach in Faro

Roy Chipolina
Roy Chipolina

Martin O'Neill is doggedly sticking to the script that Ireland must be wary of Gibraltar in Faro tonight.

The Ireland boss will demand nothing less than full concentration and three points from his players in the Estadio Algarve.

"I watched the last game they played against Germany and thought they played very well indeed.

"They should have equalised and after a half an hour of the game, they caused them troubles. In the second half Germany scored a host of goals with a counter attacking approach. We have to try and win the game, find a way to break them down.

"They have improved since start of competition, there is no question of that and we are approaching this game in manner we should do."

O'Neill will blank events in Tbilisi, where Georgia meet Scotland and Frankfurt, where Germany host Poland, from his mind.

"I'm not thinking about anything else, something that may or may not happen. We are not in control of that we can only deal with what we are in control of," he said.

Gibraltar boss Jeff Wood will take charge of his first competitive game in Faro and he believes progress is being made by the smallest of minnows.

"We have a good group of lads and we'll just see if we can make some progress. Against Germany we showed we are moving forward. We are trying to pose a threat to teams."

"I think in modern football you need to pose problems and we do have some talented players. We want to cause a threat to teams and not just keep the score down."

Wood worked under Paul Lambert at Norwich and is aware of the reverence for O'Neill in the game.

"Paul Lambert loves Martin O'Neil," he laughed. "Martin is Martin. He's managed some great clubs and he has been always successful."

Gibraltar skipper Roy Chipolina admitted that the 7-0 battering his team was on the wrong end of in Dublin was a turning point.

"Dublin was the most damaging for us. We learned a lot. I think this is the strongest group in the whole qualifiers - it's tough for everyone. Every position is up for grabs.

"I couldn't pick one team out. There's different strengths in each team.

"I would go with Germany to win but second? I don't know."

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