JOHN O’Shea says the Republic of Ireland must finish the job in their World Cup qualification double-header after securing a precious point in Sweden.
The Sunderland defender helped Ireland seal a goalless draw in Stockholm on Friday night, to provide an ideal launch-paid for tomorrow night’s visit of Austria to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
Although Austria’s 6-0 rout over the Faroe Islands saw them overtake Ireland to move into third place in Qualification Group C, Giovanni Trapattoni’s side would leapfrog both them and Sweden to move into second place behind leaders Germany if they emerge victorious tomorrow.
O’Shea, expected to again line up alongside team-mate James McClean tomorrow, has warned of Austria’s quality, but knows the opportunity awaiting the Irish.
“There’s a good positive atmosphere, but also we are fully aware of the dangers we face against Austria,” said the 31-year-old.
“The job is only half-done. Four points, I suppose, was the target before the two games and if we can do that after the game tomorrow night, we will be very pleased.
“But believe me, we are not taking Austria lightly. They have shown it in the group beforehand.
“We were watching the clips against Germany and Austria caused Germany lots of problems. They will be confident from scoring six goals the other night as well.
“But we will have grown in confidence too. Some of our younger players will have grown a lot in confidence from the other night, so it’s a game to look forward to.”
With Trapattoni’s side now facing successive home encounters against Austria, the Faroes and Sweden, the onus is upon Ireland to boost their chances of earning a spot in Brazil 2014.
“We have three home games in a row now, so it’s really back in our court if we can take advantage of that,” added O’Shea.
“The confidence should have grown from the other night and we can look forward to a big game at the Aviva, but also a tough game as well.”