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Road to Paris is not closed off by Scotland defeat: Hendrick

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Hendrick

Hendrick

SPORTSFILE

Hendrick

JEFF Hendrick believes that Ireland can still get their European Championship campaign back on the road.

The positivity from those away results against Georgia and Poland has been dimmed by Friday's poor result and performance in Glasgow, and if a rampant Poland manage to win in Dublin in the next outing in the group next March, Ireland's Euro 2016 dream will be all but over after five games.

But Hendrick, who had a difficult night in Glasgow where he earned a yellow card early in the game, a booking which reduced his effectiveness for the rest of the night, insists it's not a lost cause.

"I think we can recover and get the group back on track. We have time to look back and see what we did wrong on Friday, we can put that right and then put it behind us and make sure we are ready for the next game, in March," says the Derby County man told The Herald.

"In a way it's a good thing that we have this USA friendly tomorrow as we can get Friday out of our system, get a good result and be sure we are ready for Poland.

"We know that Poland had a great win in Georgia on Friday night and they really are on form, but there is a lot of football to be played at club level before we play them.

"I don't think the next game, Poland at home, will be anything like the one in Scotland, it was scrappy and not a great match. It was a big occasion, the biggest crowd that some of us have played in, it was probably the biggest attendance at a match I was involved in.

"Now we have a lot of home games, big home matches, and we just have to get focused on them," added Hendrick.

For Stephen Ward, who may have to sit out tomorrow's friendly with the USA due to an injury which was nagging at the Burnley man in the build-up to Glasgow, home form is now key.

DIFFICULT

And he wants to that old footballing cliché of "a difficult place to go" reattached to Ireland's home ground, as far too often opposing teams have enjoyed their trips to Lansdowne Road.

"We have to make Dublin a fortress again. There was a lot of talk before Friday's game about the impact that the Scottish fans would have but on the night our fans were amazing," says Ward.

"But we need to make the Aviva a place where other teams hate to come. We'd love to get the fans in early, get them in full voice and get the place rocking."

Ward has been ensconced in a settled back four with Seamus Coleman, Marc Wilson and John O'Shea for much of the 12-month reign of Martin O'Neill but that was broken up on Friday due to the absence of Wilson through injury.

"It was a blow to lose Marc but we were missing a couple of other players on Friday night," added Ward.

"The ones who came in did really well and we had defended well for most of the game, Scotland weren't carving us open. Friday night in Scotland was a battle, we went toe to toe with them and defended well for most of the game so we were disappointed to concede the way we did. It was a real derby game and you always hope to avoid defeat in derby matches."


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