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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Ireland's man of the match is targeting regular football at club level

Jayson Molumby produced an eye-catching display in the win over Armenia.

Jayson Molumby of Ireland celebrates after the game.
Jayson Molumby of Ireland celebrates after the game.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

IRELAND’S JAYSON MOLUMBY produced a man-of-the-match display as Stephen Kenny’s U21 side defeated Armenia 1-0 in their second Euros qualifier at Tallaght Stadium last night.

Next, they face a tricky-looking tie away to Sweden, with Molumby set to captain the side once more in Kalmar on Tuesday.

It is a big year for the 20-year-old Waterford native. During the summer, he signed a new contract at Brighton while agreeing to join Millwall on a season-long loan.

However, it has been a less-than-perfect start to life at the Den for the youngster. A quad injury suffered early on in his spell slowed his progress, and since then, manager Neil Harris has been easing him back into the side. In total, he has played three times — two starts in the League Cup and one substitute appearance in the Championship, with senior Ireland international Shaun Williams among his rivals for a midfield spot.

“Obviously, the team are doing well at the moment, so it’s about being patient. It’s a long season. Hopefully I can get in the team and stay in the team.

“The games are a big step up. I trained with Brighton every day, so I’m used to the training sessions, you get quick and sharp. But it’s another step up [from U23s]. It’s Championship level, it’s a really good level, but I feel I’m ready for it now and I’ll hopefully get a number of games under my belt.”

Despite winning, Molumby admits the Irish team were a “bit frustrated” that their dominance was not fully reflected on the scoreboard, with a couple of good chances wasted.

Those games you can kind of enjoy, express yourself and play with a bit of freedom, but they’re never easy games when people drop off and make it difficult for you. Another day, teams can nick a goal and you might be struggling, but today we got the win and that’s all that matters.

“I was trying to get into the box a bit more and get a goal. Just the final ball from myself or someone else just wasn’t there tonight, but the boys were brilliant and I was happy with the performance.”

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Molumby says the team will go to Sweden feeling optimistic of a victory, with the experience of playing some top sides at the Toulon tournament still fresh in their minds.

“We beat China, played against Mexico, put it up to some really good teams. 

We were the only ones who genuinely thought we could beat Brazil. Nobody believed we could do it, only us. That’s just the confidence within the group. There’s no need to fear anyone. We’re going out to do our best and hopefully get a win.”

Molumby also had words of encouragement for Brighton team-mate Aaron Connolly, another outstanding performer on the night.

“Goals win games and he’s just scoring all the time at the moment. He’s unlucky maybe today. Although he’s playing on the left, our attacking options are so good, but we have to play him somewhere, he has to play. If you play him up front, he scores. He’s playing out of position, but he’s working hard and absolutely destroying full backs. He had a really good night and has such a good future.”

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Bernard Jackman make the case for Ireland winning… and tanking at the Rugby World Cup, as we gear up for Wales again: 

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Fennessy

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