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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 3 December 2020
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MON: 'We're not good enough to be complacent against Gibraltar'

The Republic of Ireland boss believes his side can’t afford to take the minnows lightly.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

MARTIN O’NEILL HAS warned Ireland: we’re not good enough to be complacent against Gibraltar.

O’Neill has studied the tapes of the minnows’ opening game against Poland — their first-ever European Championship qualifier.

Poland scored six in the second half and ran out 7-0 winners but there were warning signs for the Boys in Green ahead of tomorrow’s Aviva Stadium clash.

“The game was exceptionally difficult for Poland to break down,” O’Neill said.

And he stressed: “I seriously don’t think that we’re good enough to be complacent. Certainly not.”

Poland took the lead through a deflection in the 11th minute but Gibraltar had chances to draw level before the floodgates opened, Brian Perez flashing their best effort over the bar.

Portugal Soccer Gibraltar Poland Though Gibraltar were well beaten in their first qualifier against Poland, they did have chances to level before the game got away from them. Source: Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images

O’Neill is well aware of Ireland’s patchy history against smaller nations but despite the caution of today’s pre-match press conference, he knows that nothing less than a convincing win will do.

Traditionally we’re not phenomenal goalscorers. We have to be creating chances because we’ll miss one or two.

“We have to be really positive from moment one. We also have to be a wee bit careful at the back not to leave ourselves stretched because a couple of times they broke clearly on Poland and had those opportunities but didn’t finish them, and obviously got tired a lot towards the end of the game.

‘I think they’ll have learned a lot from that experience but let’s be honest, we should win the game.

“We’re expected to win the game so I’m not going to hide away from that. It will just take us a little bit of time to do.”

Richard Keogh (leg) is ruled out of tomorrow’s game and also looks likely to miss the trip to Germany.

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Niall Kelly

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