Ireland going to Germany to win - Darron Gibson
Richard Keogh returns to Derby County as Daryl Murphy emerges as injury concern
Darron Gibson (centre) and Jeff Hendrick (right) shadow Brian Perez of Gibraltar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images
Forward Daryl Murphy has also emerged as an injury concern after tweaking his Achilles in 34 minutes on the pitch last night, and a decision on whether or not he will be involved in the squad to face Germany on Tuesday is expected soon.
Ireland depart for Germany this afternoon with maximum points on the board after two wins from two, though victory over Gibraltar was never in doubt despite warnings against complacency prior to kick-off.
Tuesday is a different story altogether, but a historic 2-0 win for Poland against Germany in Warsaw last night and Scotland’s narrow defeat in Dortmund last month, offer hope that the world champions may be vulnerable at the moment.
The Scotland result, a 2-1 defeat secured late in the game by Thomas Müller’s second goal of the night after Steven Naismith had cancelled out the opener, was of particular significance, according to Darron Gibson, who says the Ireland squad feels it is stronger than the Scots.
“Scotland going there and doing well against them gives us confidence because I think we see ourselves as probably better than Scotland,” said the Everton midfielder, “so if we can go there and have a go at them I think we’ll do well.”
Speaking prior to Poland’s win on Saturday night, the Derry man insisted Ireland aren’t going to Germany to just scrape a point.
“I wouldn’t say ‘nick’ a result, get a result,” he said. “We’re going into the game confident and we’re going to try and get three points. It is (tough). But we can’t go there thinking we’re going to lose. We’re going there confident and hopefully if we do things right we’ll get a result.”
The message from the manager was similar last night.
“I think if you go there and sit in for the whole night then Germany will find a way in behind you,” said O’Neill. “We have some attacking options and I think it’s important that we go there and try to cause them some problems too.”