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Dublin: 4°C Friday 16 April 2021

Martin O'Neill wants you to help Ireland get to Euro 2016

The Boys in Green boss thinks the team and fans can make Lansdowne Road a tough place to come this year.

Martin O’Neill during a press conference at the Aviva Stadium where SPAR were announced as the Official Convenience Retail Partner of the FAI.
Martin O’Neill during a press conference at the Aviva Stadium where SPAR were announced as the Official Convenience Retail Partner of the FAI.
Image: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

MARTIN O’NEILL knows Ireland will need to beat some quality competition this year to keep their European Championships campaign on track.

But the Boys in Green chief says Irish football fans can play their part as the likes of Poland and Germany come to Dublin for crucial qualifiers in 2015.

“I think that you would be a better judge than me because we’ve only played the one competitive game here and – obviously we’ve had some very, very good crowds here at the Aviva for what you would consider non-competitive games. The atmosphere can be very good,” the former Aston Villa boss said yesterday at the D4 stadium.

“The players assure me the atmosphere is excellent for competitive games and I think because we’ve really got something to play for, I think it can be an intimidating place. That’s what I’d like it to be naturally.

“There’s no reason why the crowd couldn’t play a big part in it and I think that’s possible, that’s what we’d like but I also think that we have to do something to encourage that and not just put it down to spectators who pay hard earned money to come. We have to do something to enthuse them, that’s part of our job.”

Ireland are currently fourth in Group D but are level on points with Scotland and Germany while Poland are three points ahead of the chasing pack. O’Neill remains optimistic after a campaign that started with two wins, an unlikely away draw against the world champions and that disappointing defeat in Glasgow.

John O'Shea celebrates scoring John O'Shea celebrates his last-gasp equaliser against Germany last October. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“I had time to reflect on it over the Christmas period and I’m really pleased with [the qualifying campaign] at this minute,” he said on Sunday afternoon.

“The points that we have on the board means that we’ve won an away game, we drew against Germany and, obviously it was disappointing to concede late on against Scotland, but we’ve left ourselves in the position where everything depends on what we do in the Aviva.

“We’ve a big game against Poland coming up and I’m looking forward to it immensely but we’ve put ourselves in a position where we can, hopefully, feed off big crowds, get players up for the game and go and try to win.”

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