After Friday’s display, Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for a first tournament since 2002 looked doomed. The reaction of the crowd at the end said it all. The team were booed off the pitch, not because they failed to score but because Irish people only demand one thing, 100% effort from everyone in a green shirt. Many people paid good money to be in the Aviva last week. Many people didn’t. We can accept limited ability but cannot except limited effort. And yet, in Moscow, Ireland have a chance to pay back their fans by finally backing up their words with a performance.
“I am well used to intimidating atmospheres. You get that going into a restaurant in Glasgow. We are still very much alive and there is not one bit of doubt in the squad that we can’t go to Russia and get a good result. I have absolutely no doubt that next summer we will be in Poland and Ukraine”