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Dublin: 11°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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O'Neill wary of Georgian heat ahead of qualifier

The Ireland manager was also unwilling to give any hints away about his team selection.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill watches his side in training this evening.
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill watches his side in training this evening.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

MARTIN O’NEILL HAS suggested the weather could be a significant factor for Ireland’s opening World Cup qualifier with Georgia tomorrow.

Though the match will be played in the evening time, O’Neill says the Irish team are prepared for the worst, as they prepare to take on Temuri Ketsbaia’s side.

“I would imagine if it’s going to be hot as they say it is, then you might have to make obvious adjustments,” he told reporters. “It is played in the evening time, but temperatures might still be up.

“I’ve never been to Georgia, but obviously the experiences of before with people I’m listening to, they say it can still remain pretty hot in the evening time.

“All of those things will bear some consideration when we come to Sunday.”

In addition, the Ireland manager wasn’t giving anything away when asked about his possible starting line-up tomorrow.

“I’m not so sure that here in this press room is the place I should really be discussing the team,” he said.

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Also speaking ahead of the encounter was Robbie Keane, who expressed relief that, after eight consecutive friendly matches, the serious business of qualification is finally set to begin.

“This is where it starts. Everything goes out the window. It’s the campaign that every fan wants to be involved in.”

It has also been confirmed that the Ireland squad was brought down to 23 members ahead of the trip to Tbilisi, with Keiren Westwood, who is suffering from tonsillitis, and Anthony Stokes missing out.

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