Thursday 20 September 2018

Quinn: looks up for Euros

Niall Quinn believes Ireland are better set up under Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane than Giovanni Trapattoni’s side in 2012
Niall Quinn believes Ireland are better set up under Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane than Giovanni Trapattoni’s side in 2012

Now that Euro qualification is secured, Niall Quinn is firmly of the view Ireland will fare better at next year's showpiece than the disaster of 2012.

The former Ireland international isn't just encouraged by a better equipped group of players but also the presence of two managers he recruited for Sunderland.

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane remain in the highest regard of Quinn and he's sure the mistakes of three years ago, when Ireland completed an embarrassing tournament in Poland and Ukraine with the joint worst record in European Championship history, will be eradicated.

That includes tailoring the build-up for France by avoiding the regimental environment Giovanni Trapattoni so frustrated his players with.

"I feel the best now about Irish football since when I retired in 2002," said the 49-year-old.

"It was depressing but I'm proud of Irish football because the motivation Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane has instilled in the players.

"All I'd heard in the last few years was people saying we didn't have the players and weren't not good enough. That they're not playing Manchester United and Liverpool anymore. Well, Martin and Roy turned that on its head.

"These players suddenly look like they can do themselves and their country proud.

"There was a big anti-climax when we qualified for the 2012 finals. From speaking to a couple of players off-the-record about the last time, they said it was a wholly unenjoyable experience from the minute they get together.

"That was through the planning to the execution. Their on-pitch strategy didn't work at all either. Back then, all we had were tactics and very questionable tactics at that.


"Things will be different this time, I'm certain of that. Martin and the team can build on the way they finished the campaign by beating Germany and Bosnia.

"The emphasis will be put on the motivation and self-belief. Maybe we overplayed the strength of Bosnia because we looked at their ranking but they feared playing us and we dismantled them over the two legs.

"Jon Walters is the one that typifies what Martin and Roy have introduced. The hard work and belief he has leads by example. The other players are playing with his energy. Look at the job Richard Keogh did on Edin Dzeko.

"Whoever draws us next week will have to overcome that and it's a damn better place to be than 2012."

Niall Quinn was at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre to open Sky's new retail store. It is one of 36 Sky Retail Stores in Ireland which provides new and existing customers advice and demonstrations of Sky products at shopping centres nationwide.

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