Sunderland’s O’Shea looks for Ireland relief

John O'Shea
John O'Shea
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JOHN O’SHEA insists Ireland must ensure their rout against Germany does not completely derail their World Cup qualification bid.

Ireland head into tomorrow’s clash with the Faroe Islands in disarray after last Friday’s 6-1 hiding to Group C leaders Germany.

The defeat has prompted fresh criticism over manager Giovanni Trapattoni, with the Italian already under the spotlight after Ireland’s displays in the summer’s European Championships and their unconvincing win against Kazakahstan in their opening World Cup qualifier.

But a win for Ireland tomorrow, coupled with a defeat for Sweden in Germany, would keep Trapattoni’s side level on points with the Scandinavians in the race to finish as group runners-up.

Sunderland defender O’Shea said: “The games that decide qualification won’t be the Germany matches, they are going to be Austria and Sweden although that’s not forgetting about Kazakhstan or the Faroe Islands either.

“The Faroes have proven to be very difficult opponents already for other teams in the group but we have to be aiming to at least finish in the play-off place. If you want to do that then you have to be beating these teams.

“Thankfully this game has come around really quickly and we can get three qualifying points towards qualifying for the World Cup.

“We will see how the players respond tomorrow. We have to put a performance in to get ourselves back in with a chance of qualifying from the group.

“If we do that they we will be able to go forward. It was not nice to be part of the 6-1 defeat the other night but in football Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1 last season and United beat Arsenal 8-2 around the same time.

“They were both high quality teams so it happens in football. It’s how you react to it that counts.

“Obviously we are still massively disappointed by how it went the other night. But if we get the win then we will have six points from three games. We can’t forget about the other night but hopefully we can move on from it.”

O’Shea will again captain his country tomorrow, if Robbie Keane fails to shake off the Achilles problem – suffered in training against Sunderland’s David Meyler – which kept him out against Germany.

Sunderland keeper Keiren Westwood will also feature and is understandably eager to banish the memories of the Germany defeat.

“From a personal point of view, I’m going to have a look at the goals I conceded and pick the bones,” said Westwood.

“I have to pick myself up but I’m not the only one.They had eight shots and scored with six, which is not ideal. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry to be honest. I have a real sick feeling in my stomach right now.

“What was supposed to be a massive moment for me has become horrendous. Playing for my country, as the number one, was always a huge dream. Now it has become a nightmare.”