Dublin: 13°C Wednesday 25 May 2022
Advertisement

O'Neill 'happy enough' with World Cup draw as Ireland avoid Europe's big guns

“It’s a group where teams can take points off each other.”

It could have been a whole lot worse for Ireland.
It could have been a whole lot worse for Ireland.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

MARTIN O’NEILL STOPPED short of expressing his relief as Ireland were handed an extremely kind 2018 World Cup qualifying draw but admitted he was content with the hand Ireland have been dealt.

The Boys in Green were paired with Wales, Austria, Serbia, Moldova and Georgia in Group D as they look to qualify for a first World Cup since 2002.

The overwhelming feeling was of satisfaction, particularly given Ireland were fourth seeds, but O’Neill was quick to remind those getting ahead of themselves that ‘there are easier groups.’

Speaking to RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue in St Petersburg, the Ireland manager said: ”I think it’s a group where teams can take points off each other. There are a lot more easier groups, but a lot more difficult groups too.

“Going back to Georgia is not exactly what you would want and then Serbia came in front of us and I thought it might be exceptionally difficult but Austria and Wales will be difficult.

“Austria and Wales and Serbia will be happy enough to be in the group. I’m happy enough to be in the group too.”

The group stages will begin in September 2016 with each team playing each other home and away.

Ireland to face Wales as O’Neill’s side handed favourable 2018 World Cup qualifying draw

SEE SPORT
DIFFERENTLY

Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:

COMMENTS (21)