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'These are the moments we’ve all dreamt of playing in' - Idah sets sights on Portugal

The Ireland striker is hoping to win his eighth international cap at the Estádio Algarve on Wednesday.

Ireland striker Adam Idah.
Ireland striker Adam Idah.
Image: PA

SLOWLY BUT SURELY, Adam Idah is beginning to feel at home at international level.

The Norwich striker was first capped by Stephen Kenny in September of last year, and would have more than the seven caps currently to his name if it wasn’t for a couple of unfortunately timed injury and Covid issues.

Kenny is clearly a fan of the Cork native, who is approaching Ireland’s triple-header of World Cup qualifiers with a positive mindset, despite the struggles and setbacks that marked the first year of the manager’s tenure.

“Obviously, we have not had the results that we wanted but we’re still getting to know each other,” Idah says.

“Now is the time where we have been together for a couple of camps now and everybody knows what each of us is about.

“Everybody feels around the training camp that we are excited to go, it feels good around the camp with a good atmosphere.”

As we all know, scoring goals has been a major issue for Kenny’s team, so Idah will head into these fixtures fully aware that there is a place in the starting XI up for grabs.

The 22-year-old explains he has been working hard on improving his game over the summer, with an eye to taking the next step in his development.

“Obviously, there are loads of areas where I can improve on,” he explains.

“I can improve on my finishing, running in behind, my hold-up play. Every striker can say the same.

“I don’t think that it’s one particular thing, if I’m being really honest with myself then I have to improve on everything if I want to be the best (I can be).

During the summer, I worked quite a bit on my strength and fitness. In pre-season and in the start of the league I’ve shown this, so that is probably one of the main things that I worked on. But there are lots of things that I can work on and improve on.”

First up for Ireland is a meeting with Portugal at the Estádio Algarve tomorrow, where Idah’s boyhood idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, will be hoping to register a world record 110th international goal.

And Idah says Ireland, currently 47th in the Fifa world rankings, won’t hold any fear against eighth-placed Portugal.

“Obviously, everybody knows how good Portugal are and the players they have in their squad,” Idah says. “But we’re Ireland and we’ve got so much belief in ourselves and have got so much talent in the squad.

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“So we’re not going to be fearful of them – we’re going to go out and do the best that we can and play the best football that we can. We’re just excited to get to play the game now.

“When you’re the underdog, it motivates you that bit more because you know what people on the outside are thinking. As a team, it excites you that you want to play against these, prove everyone wrong, show what you can do. I’m so excited to play.

“None of us have fear (of playing Portugal). There shouldn’t be any fear coming into these games. You should be excited about playing against these players.

“These are the moments we’ve all dreamt of playing in, playing against the best players in the world, the best teams. The feeling is one of excitement. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can.” 

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About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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