Hope To Spring Eternal For Respective Green Armies?

The start of a qualifying campaign always brings with it fresh hopes that, this time, glory will be ours and a ticket to the exclusive Summer Party that is the World Cup will be secured. Not since the memorable Summer in Saipan has Ireland been represented at either a European or World Cup summer Finals tournament. Since then, water has certainly gushed beneath the bridge, with two of the main characters in that story now joined at the hip in the Sundireland venture.
For fans of the Republic, it’s time for Trapattoni to deliver on the promise of a better organised, more ambitious campaign than that which characterised the shambolic performances of the team under Steve Staunton. For fans of the North, the hope will surely be that Worthington keeps getting the best out of his players to ensure heightened expectations aren’t crushed by a poor start.

Both Irish teams start with crucial road trips. The Republic of Ireland face Georgia (in Germany) and then Montenegro, with Northern Ireland facing a key trip to Slovakia before hosting Group favourites, Czech Republic. Trapattoni has somewhat daringly declared he’d be disappointed with a return of four points from the trip, whilst Worthington must hope that the Hampden Park draw suggests that the sort of away day meltdowns experienced in Iceland and Latvia this time last year are not repeated.
Elsewhere, England should start with a thrashing of Andorra, whilst the Scots begin with an awkward away trip to Macedonia and the Welsh host Azerbaijan.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    “fresh hopes”

    Fresh hopes too in Andorra and the Faroe Islands for the new campaign.

  • Dewi
  • Mike C

    You have the courtesy of calling the international team by its FIFA recognised name: Northern Ireland.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Scotland are up against a classy Macedonian team. Still the many Celtic players in the team should do well, since wee Strach isn’t at the helm.

    I reckon only one of our teams will win. Don’t know who though.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Dewi,

    heard only 10,000 tickets sold for the game in Kaydiff.

  • dactur hugh

    Hardly a dignified example set by the NI players yesterday. Firing water bombs from a great height at journalists and camera crews. Even worse was Worthington’s juvenile prattling as he tried to pass off this childish behaviour by ‘adult’ role models as acceptable.-Imaginary flutes,dambusters and water bombs-classy stuff indeed.

  • Dewi

    “heard only 10,000 tickets sold for the game in Kaydiff.”

    Not bad for Cardiff v Leinster.

  • james

    I’m a bit disappointed that Trap has left Andy Reid out of the starting eleven, but the manager has his game plan and hopefully a winning start for Ireland.

    Only 10,000 seats in the stadium in Mainz and nearly 5,000 Irish fans expected, which is really incredible considering the venue was only announced last week.

  • iluvni

    Comment edited-Play the ball, not the man, iluvni

  • dactur hugh

    comment edited
    The slugger man/ball rule appears to have gone AWOL, Surely a red card offence by the maudlingly monikered ‘iluvni’?

  • iluvni

    Play the ball rule should surely apply to the NI team, the players, the manager and the fans…yet dactur hugh’s 11.31 comment remains.
    But sure whats new with attacks on and everything to do with NI football, eh?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    I dont know if Norn Iron fans carry union jacks but if they do probably not the best idea – the locals seemed to be out for blood.

    “I had been there just before and the fans were told to be quiet. Then we saw batons and about 50 people running away.

    “There certainly didn’t seem to be a bad atmosphere beforehand but the fans had been told to stop their singing.”

  • dactur hugh

    The reason why my first post remains in place is because it was factually accurate,iluvni. Now stop the MOPEry, there’s a good lad.

  • Steve Patterson

    My brother and his friend were badly beaten by the local militia wearing high visibility so called security bibs.
    They pulverised them without remorse and then had them run a final gauntlet of batons to escape.

    Thier crime was to be happy and in a mood for celebration, what would Slovakians know of and be offended by the singing of the Sash or how does fuck the I.R.A become something wrong to shout.
    The IFA should pressurise FIFA to have Slovakia thrown out of world football if this is how they treat visiting fans.

  • austin

    ‘what would Slovakians know of and be offended by the singing of the Sash or how does fuck the I.R.A become something wrong to shout.’

    Oh dear, the mask of the best non-sectarian fans in Europe slips a little bit more…

    Tell your bro’ to keep fighting the good fight and chant away, stevie boy..

  • james

    ‘what would Slovakians know of and be offended by the singing of the Sash or how does fuck the I.R.A become something wrong to shout’

    Perhaps the bar has a policy of ejecting people for singing politically motivated or sectarian songs.

    Most bars in central Belfast would do the same.

  • HappyPaddy

    ‘what would Slovakians know of and be offended by the singing of the Sash or how does fuck the I.R.A become something wrong to shout’

    Hey guys do u not get it the name of the bar might give u a clue ??

    Dubliner !!

  • Ms Wiz

    Wasn’t ‘Hostel’ set in Slovakia?

    NI should be wary of the Slovaks, they were the second highest scorers behind Germany in the Euro qualifiers and didn’t even qualify themselves. OK the group included San Marino and their goals against wasn’t the best, but the fact is they can knock ’em in. Big worry for NI though is its reliance on Healy for goals. If you were the opposition manager you’d think just man-mark him and they won’t score. Missing Lafferty is a blow so I predict a draw. Realistically though, they have to take what they can from Poland and Czech Republic and beat the rest home and away if they want to have any chance of qualifying.

    Don’t know what to make of the Republic game, they should win but Georgia did beat Wales 2-1 in Cardiff recently, and that was in the aftermath of the war so I wouldn’t write them off. Republic definitely have the personnel to get a result so should be interesting.

  • Greenflag

    Well the Scottish Bhoys have let the nation down -again losing O-1 to Macedonia formerly a province of Yugoslavia and an ethnically very diverse population of 2 million less than half Scotland’s.

    Same old story for the Scots

    A great start and a poor finish or a poor start and an even poorer finish .

    Next up – the Republic .

    Now lets see who we can blame for losing this one ?

    Northern Ireland

    Already forgetabout it –

    If Healy is marked tight -then it’s goodbye to their chances .

    England should defeat Andorra –

  • Dewi

    A classy Welsh win…………

  • pacman

    Mission accomplished in Germany. Not a great performance and there’ll be harder tests to come but tails up for wednesday night. Well done, our lads.

  • Rory

    Gori 1 : Gorey 2 (FT)

  • Dewi

    Andorra holding out at H/T – oh and Murray two sets up and Leinster just taken the lead v Cardiff.

  • consul

    Ireland are still prone to the injury time puncture. Lucky we were two ahead instead of one like we usually are.

  • Greenflag

    Dewi ,

    ‘A classy Welsh win.’………..

    It’s the way you tell them 🙂

    Rorey ‘

    It’s the way you write them 🙂

    Bad luck Northern Ireland -nearly scraped a draw .

    Come on Andorra and Leinster 🙂

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Poor old Georgia.

    Two Provincial wars and one world cup qualifier do dah, do dah.

  • dewi

    Sammy – loved you and Fair Deal’s stuff the other day btw How Cardiff didn’t win that will be one of the century’s mysteries….and the password is “ball” – this ain’t random.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    I’ll be a cunt and gloat!
    It ‘s what the British do best at times.
    So here goes,.what a great victory for the Ireland soccer team tonight 2-1 ………..woooo hooooo! A great victory for ‘Our Wee Country’!

    (The British Army means nothing….ha ha !)

    BTW…. the NI fans were in a pub called the Dubliner..but I thought NI fans where loyal British subjects who hated everything Irish, especially anything from the Republic!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Well done the ancient Britons; the Welsh nation! Branwen, Pwyll, Uther Pendragon, Owain Glyn Dwr, Saunders Lewis, Gwynfor Evans, Tom Jones, Catherine Jenkins, etc…
    Fuck it …..Let’s celebrate our nations and culture Dewi!

    (Catherine was singing in the Wexford Opera House last night and what a great pair of Welsh lungs too!)

  • LURIG

    The full story behind the NI fans getting a whalloping in Slovakia hasn’t really come out yet. If this was an unprovoked attack it should be condemned BUT if there is more to it we SHOULD be told. The fans were drinking in an Irish pub called the DUBLINER and some posters on here have already stated that Union Jacks were being waved & sectarian songs were being sung, no wonder then people took offence. It seems to have been hushed up by the Norn Iron media, why? I state once again, if it was an unprovoked attack it MUST be condemned BUT if it was self inflicted by religious & political bigots I have NO sympathy whatsoever. If its the former FIFA should act against the Slovakian FA but if it’s the latter they must also act against the NI fans and the IFA. It shouldn’t be forgotten, as reported by callers to BBC Talkback, there was some dreadful sectarian behaviour by NI fans in Glasgow so I am keeping a total open mind on this.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Maybe the Slovakian pub security took offence to the ‘We are up to our necks in Fenian blood , surrender or you’ll die’ lyrics coz they may have lots of relatives and friends in the ROI, and having been here too and found it to be not a bad old place, and after telling the British soccer fans to keep it quite, and after a tirade of abuse…..they just let rip…….and cracked a few heads!

  • Doctor Who

    Terrible result for OWC especially with the clear cut chances we created.

    Best wishes to the ROI fans and a good result in Germany against Georgia.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to tell the usual sectarian bigots like Dactur Hugh, Austin etc. to run off and try to purchase a life if they are on sale.

    Remember narrow minded bigots it only takes one word from a dick like yourselves to start a masacre and not another pint was bought by a NI fan from that bar once the word was out. Thankfully though there has been no revege attacks.

  • Doctor Who

    Gre….yawn yawn

    “BTW…. the NI fans were in a pub called the Dubliner..but I thought NI fans where loyal British subjects who hated everything Irish, especially anything from the Republic!”

    Your comment then shows you up for the little tiny minded sectarian bigot that you are.

    So I take it you wish to ban all folk from Northern Ireland from ever setting foot in Dublin, why not retire from the internet and go re-blacken the stone from whence you crawled from you weasel.

  • Harry Flashman

    France, beaten 3-1 by Austria? Wow.

  • USA

    If it transpires that the NI fans were indeed in a pub called the Dubliner, singing the Sash, shouting F**K the IRA, waving Union Jack flags and generally behaving in a drink filled 12th of July sectarian manner, then it would not suprise me that the management decided to evict them from the premises.
    If it is the case then why was that important information not mentioned in the reporting?
    Once on a trip to Belfast I watched on the TV a report from the Botanic Inn (interestingly, by the same reporter) which had a bunch of celebrating NI supporters in the background of the report. They were singing sectarian songs yet the report was allowe to be aired and no thought was given to the insulting nature of the songs – I was shocked by this. I felt it was very bad editorial policy and reporting on the part of BBC NI.
    I hope I am wrong about the setting and circumstances of the events in Slovakia as I have met some very nice NI fans in my time.

  • Mac

    Get used to it USA.

    Welcome to my world.

    p

  • Bemused

    Come on now chaps – we all know that your average fan of ‘the province’ is a delightful, civilised, world-wise and urbane character who hasn’t a sectarian, bigoted bone in his body and would neither laugh at, encourage or tolerate sectarian antics of any sort.

  • Bemused

  • Bemused

  • smcgiff

    Anywhoo…

    Excellent start by ROI – good performances by Whelan, S Reid and a clinical finish from Doyle.

    That was a must not lose game from NI. I’ve not even seen highlights though so can’t comment.

    However, we needed a really fluckey goal to get the full three points. I don’t expect we’ll be seeing that keeper for the rest of Georgia’s campaign. To be fair Georgia only got the goal back after we made some really strange substitutions.

    So a decent performance from the lads, much improved from previous incarnations, but worthy of South Africa in 2010 – Jury’s still out.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Ah I was just being a bit of a bigoted bastard by making such comments about the NI soccer team. It’s very easy to do too.
    Given the recent smart arse contributions by Unionist contributers regarding Team Ireland in the Olympics or the Iish Defence Forces V the British Army (snigger), I’d thought I’d do the same.
    Seems to have worked too, for folk seem to thrive on this in NI. The tension that exists in NI society is inconceivable!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “Your comment then shows you up for the little tiny minded sectarian bigot that you are.

    So I take it you wish to ban all folk from Northern Ireland from ever setting foot in Dublin, why not retire from the internet and go re-blacken the stone from whence you crawled from you weasel.”

    ……lovely stuff!

  • Anonymous

    Greagoir,

    Ah I was just being a bit of a bigoted bastard by making such comments about the NI soccer team. It’s very easy to do too. .

    At least you’re honest. If any of the NI fans had been murdered in this attack, I do believe we would still have the usual people on here making excuses and probably even gloating.

    Regarding The Dubliner pub, it is not the first incident regarding their “security”:

    1.Here.

    2.An English rugby player had his jaw broken in three places.

    3. The Republic’s fans also had problems.

    I think it’s safe to assume in both of the last cases there was none of the alleged Union Jacks or Sashs* to provoke the meatheads.

    *Other than a not very convincing troll on here, has that been confirmed by any more reliable sources? Thought not.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Anonymous, it seems to be a horrible kip of a pub alright. Definitely one to avoid at all costs.

    And it won’t be on my international pub crawl!

  • Could these peace loving nothern irish football supporters not find another drinking establishment to sing/spout their sectarian gibberish in or would that just not have been as much fun.

  • Realist

    “If its the former FIFA should act against the Slovakian FA but if it’s the latter they must also act against the NI fans and the IFA”

    LURIG,

    An incident in a Bratislavan pub has got nothing to do with FIFA.

    Or maybe they should sanction the FAI too – seeing as the pub is called The Dubliner.

    Wise up.

    Big turning point in the game yesterday was when the referee bottled giving a stonewall penalty (blatant handball) to Northern Ireland, and the Slovaks went straight up the park to score their second goal.

    That said, we had too many players playing below their best yesterday.

    Our defending was shocking for both Slovak goals.

    Scotland fans giving off about their team playing 4-4-2 in Macedonia yesterday – “we should have played 4-5-1”

    Northern Ireland fans giving off about NW playing 4-5-1 against Slovakia – “we should have played 4-4-2”.

    It’s a funny old game.

  • RepublicanStones

    NI fans involved in a fraca again……..move along nothing to see here !

    Anyway good luck to Waterford today they’re gonna need it.

  • Greenflag

    McGiff

    ‘Excellent start by ROI ‘

    But not an excellent finish:( Why oh why does the Irish team insist on allowing /giving /donating a goal to the opposition in the last minute or as in this case extra time ? IIRC this cost us a place in the European Nations competition and in the last World Cup.

    I suppose it would’nt matter that much if the team were 3 or 4 goals ahead with a minute left but NOT -NOT with a one goal or two goal lead .

    What’s going on with the team in those last few minutes . They seem to lose ‘focus’ if that’s thw word . Lets hope they can score a few more against Montenegro and refrain from the extra time ‘donation’.

  • Realist

    “But not an excellent finish”

    Greenflag,

    Nearly made worse by the attempts of a drunken thug attempting to enter the pitch to “have a go” at a Georgian player, with the ROI leading 2-0 at the time.

    The incident could have had serious implications, had the thug not have been so drunk that he couldn’t keep his footing.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t be too harsh on your side – a win is a win, and it’s a good start.

    You have a potentially good side to work with, and I think you’ll be big players in the final outcome of your group.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Realist
    was thinking the same about the ‘fan’- lucky he was gripped and I trust he’ll be named, shamed and banned from future games.

    The performance was a step in the right direction. Reid and Whelan played well in the centre, but I think Dunphy’s right about the need for Andy Reid to start in place of Hunt.

    The 2nd half performance was less impressive, and we’ll need to shift up a gear against the Montengrans to have any chance of 3 points there.

    On the North, I didn’t see all the game but caught Setanta’s highlights. Bad luck with the penalty shout and Healy unusually off par, but the defending for the goals wasn’t great.

    I’d say points against the Czechs are a must (either draw or win) to keep from slipping too far behind at this early stage.

  • Green Shirt

    I was pleasantly surprised that channel 5 felt it more important to broadcast the Republic’s game against Georgia, instead of N.Ireland’s game against Slovakia. More of that please.

  • austin

    I would also like to take this opportunity to tell the usual sectarian bigots like Dactur Hugh, Austin …Remember narrow minded bigots it only takes one word from a dick like yourselves to start a masacre….

    Oh Dear, Doctor Who, we have taken those beatings badly-on and off the pitch, so I’ll excuse the man/ball thing..

    Get a grip, man. It’s only a game. Poland drawing suggests that no team will run away with your group and everyone’ll be in the mix at the business end.

    Personally, I’m going to have a reasonable punt on your boys at home to the Czechs at a very tempting 11/4 for a home win. Come on Norn Iron!!

  • Greenflag

    ‘I’d say points against the Czechs are a must (either draw or win)’

    That’ll be tough . The Czechs will be trying to regain some lost pride following that defeat at the hands of sorry feet of the Ottomans in the Nations cup
    .

    I’m not being ‘harsh ‘ and young Whelan & Reid did well overall but I think they need to break the habit of surrendering the ball the last few minutes of a game and giving away a goal . Not ‘professional’ IMO . I’m sure Trappatoni was furious !

  • Realist

    “I’d say points against the Czechs are a must (either draw or win) to keep from slipping too far behind at this early stage”

    I’m tended to agree with that Chris, but the following three games give us an opportunity to get back into the mix – away to Slovenia (must win), and home and away to San Marino (should win).

    After that, home games against Poland and Slovenia.

    Wednesday night is a big, big, game.

  • Realist

    “I’m going to have a reasonable punt on your boys at home to the Czechs at a very tempting 11/4 for a home win. Come on Norn Iron!!”

    Look about austin, and you’ll get 7/2 – Bet365, Skybet and Sportingbet.

    Good luck!

  • Dewi

    We got Russia away Wednesday. Toshack going for the Stalingrad formation – 10-0-0-1 (the 1 a sniper….)

  • austin

    Cheers for the tip, Realist, but i’ve sobered up now-the Czech Republic is the bet of the century at 5/6-get those betting boots on, ma chara!

  • pfhl

    people had to know they would concede when they saw mcshane coming on. WALKING DISASTER

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    True pfhl, MacShane is an appaling defender at times, a headless chicken who doesn’t read the game well. Probably too young at the mo but will grow with time and experience, but that’s not the sign of a great natural player. Oh for the days of Paul McGrath, and former GAA Dub player Kevin Moran, now that was an impenetrable green wall!

    I still think Andy Reid is a bit too overweight, rather sluggish and unfit. Hunt is a little terrier in comparison, full of pace and is willing to run at defences. Seen him in the past liven up many a dull ROI game when he was brought on as a sub.

    Regarding Duff, what a waster really. The guy is at the prime of his career at the mo but is always injured. Subject to fall over anytime he is challenged on the ball! Keane is not much better, an uninspiring captain (especially compared to past captains), overpaid and over rated! But still, Trappatoni may still get the best out of them all.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Hunt’s a dirty wee bastard. He cracked Cheh’s skull and he meant it. How he got off with that deliberate knee in the head is beyond me.

  • Doctor Who

    Austin, gre.., USA. etc.

    “Oh Dear, Doctor Who, we have taken those beatings badly-on and off the pitch, so I’ll excuse the man/ball thing..”

    You must feel really proud of yourself for gloating about football fans being beat to a pulp in a completely unprovoked attack. Shocking.

    The comments from USA are the worst, I think I should be given a by ball here to play the man in this instance by telling him to go play on the freeway you fucking lying muppet.

    His post was both offensive and unsubstantiated.

  • Cap’n Bob

    Anyhow good luck to the Northern Ireland supporters involved in the distasteful incident & hope all works out for them with their injuries & their compensation.

    Posted by Jim | 08.09.08, 12:35 GMT

    I hope all are well and will be reciving compensation!

    Posted by Matt | 08.09.08, 13:29 GMT
    Nice to see that two Telegrapgh commentators are keeping the local standard!

  • Anonymous

    Bit of a cryptic comment there Captn, perhaps it would help if you posted the link where the comments occured?

  • lee

    What was the crack with the big ‘God Save The Queen’ banner with the union jack and queen’s flag on it at the game or the ‘Our culture is not a crime’ banner.

    Hardly relevant to football?

  • Greenflag

    dewi ,

    ‘Toshack going for the Stalingrad formation – 10-0-0-1 (the 1 a sniper….)’

    Now why would ye have the goalie a sniper 🙂 ? Do ye not think that in attempting to pick off the Russian goalie he might inadvertenly shoot one of his own players who will be milling about in the penalty are trying to nose the ball into the Russian net 🙂

    Wales will be hoping at best for a draw methinks . Here’s hoping . But why Stalingrad ? Has’nt it another name these days ?

  • Dewi

    It gets worse – the bloke we chose for 1 up front has just retired:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7603887.stm

    Now its 11-0-0-0 and the bunker strategy…

    Toshack good at miracles though…

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    shocking trunout at game on Saturday – apparently only one gate was open. I expect Wales to lose at least 3-0 against Ruskies.

    On to more important matters – I think Wales will have the most settled team in 6N and may well win it again. Ireland struggling particularly at centre and 10 – ROG living on reputation.

  • Globetrotter

    Just got back from a weekend in Prague. We had the pleasure of the GAWA on the plane on the way over. From take off to landing, we were treated to numerous renditions of “Ulster til i die”, the Dambusters tune and a song about German bombers and how the RAF from Ulster shot them down. We lost count of the number of “fenian bastard” type comments.

    Non sectarian my arse.

  • Dewi

    “On to more important matters – I think Wales will have the most settled team in 6N and may well win it again. Ireland struggling particularly at centre and 10 – ROG living on reputation. ”

    All Blacks in November….me Dad was there when we last beat them in 1953 – he always said we were lucky then….

  • Bemused

    No, no, no, no, no Globetrotter – don’t you realise – what you actually saw were large numbers of Sinn Feinn/IRA black propaganda merchants in disguise. ‘Ulster’s’ finest don’t behave in the manner you’ve described – as any right thinking person knows they are first class ambassadors for this ‘country’ and are respected and admired by all who encounter them. You, no doubt, are yourself a treacherous fenian scumbucket, determined to malign the glorious name of our beautiful wee ‘province’ with typical republican lies.

  • Realist

    “What was the crack with the big ‘God Save The Queen’ banner with the union jack”

    lee,

    You may have missed the recent talk of a change of anthem for the Northern Ireland team?

    I presume that the owners of the banner were making their stance on the matter clear – as they are perfectly entitled to do.

    “Hardly relevant to football?”

    They are many things sung and displayed at football matches (throughout the world) that are harly relevant to football.

    In this instance, the banner was relevant to a debate that is raging amongst Northern Ireland supporters.

  • Mike

    USA

    “Once on a trip to Belfast I watched on the TV a report from the Botanic Inn (interestingly, by the same reporter) which had a bunch of celebrating NI supporters in the background of the report. They were singing sectarian songs yet the report was allowe to be aired and no thought was given to the insulting nature of the songs – I was shocked by this. I felt it was very bad editorial policy and reporting on the part of BBC NI.”

    I think you’re referring in a garbled manner to a BBC live broadcast from the Botanic the day NI lost 4-0 to England in Manchester in 2005.

    In which case what you’re actually talking about is half a dozen scumbags deliberately seizing on a live broadcast to sing their crap while over in Old Trafford there were thousands of NI fans singing their hearts out for their team, no sectarian songs, and plenty of praise from the English fans, media and players alike.

    Still, whatever suits your worldview, eh…

  • Mike

    By the way, those who have come off the usual prejudiced comments might like to cross-reference with the experience of RoI fans in the very same bar last year…

  • Cap’n Bob
  • Dewi

    Funniest soccer banner ever, witnessed at Juventus v Verona:

    “Juliet was a slag”

  • consul

    Montenegro manager Zoran Filipovic:

    “Italy and Bulgaria are favourites to finish top [of Group Eight].

    The other teams are good, too, as clubs from Cyprus have demonstrated their quality in Europe, while Ireland and Georgia should not be underestimated, either.

    Currently we have some real jewels in our team — Mirko Vucinic, Stevan Jovetic, Simon Vukcevic and Igor Burzanovic. All of them can compete at the highest international level.

    We definitely plan to make Ireland play with our style, which should give us a good result. It depends on how the game will develop. Maybe we will force them to defend, but they could well do the same thing.

    I am absolutely delighted with the progress we have made. We have started from zero and managed to build a lot of good things during our first year, regarding selecting a group of players for the qualifications. We have played 10 friendly games so far and won four of them, with two draws. I have seen many positive things and those games were a good filter, which showed us which players can be the cornerstone of our squad.

    I am happy that Duff, a player I admire very much, will not be coming to Podgorica, but we will still have a lot of work to do trying to contain Robbie Keane in attack. They [Ireland] are fighters, they never give up, which I must say is not a common thing in football these days.

    Ireland has great financial capacities. They got a great leader in [Giovanni] Trapattoni. But not all is about money. The team spirit counts, too, the atmosphere in the dressing room is not less important and I strongly believe that those are the factors that determine the winner in international football. We are far behind other squads from our group, because of our small population [650,000], but also football conditions. The most important thing is to play hard every game. I am sure that nobody will have a good time in Podgorica. With good support, we will be a tough nut for every team.”

  • Greenflag

    The Montenegrins are the eh ‘Kerrymen’ of the former Yugoslavia -big hairy feckers – who would slit your throat while living in your ear and charging you rent 🙁

    Should not be taken for granted -they bate the crap out of the Hungarians in a recent friendly.
    The Irish better watch out for those 50/50 balls and bring an extra supply of crutches and perhaps an odd wheelchair or two .

    To quote Consul above

    ‘The most important thing is to play hard every game. I am sure that nobody will have a good time in Podgorica.’

    Not have a good time -whatever about the game the fans will have a good time 🙂

  • UFB

    Bloody Sinn Feiners trying yet again with their bloody black propaganda trying to sully the name of the best supporters in the world.

    http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=gMCAljqoTVc

  • borderline

    never thought i’d agree with umh over anything but i agree that hunt is a dirty wee bastard.

    our dirty wee bastard…

  • Cromwell

    But sure UFB if you want to play silly games we could be here all day;

    Motes & beams, motes & beams.

  • Realist

    Bloody DUPers trying yet again with their bloody black propaganda trying to sully the name of the best supporters in the world.

    Want to play on UFB?