Seamus Coleman: ‘I can’t explain how I’ve missed it’

Irish captain insists team’s morale and expectations are high heading into qualifiers

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman returns after missing 10 games and looks to be in a strong position to start on Wednesday night. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman returns after missing 10 games and looks to be in a strong position to start on Wednesday night. Photograph: Inpho

 

Seamus Coleman insists that the Irish team are heading into Wednesday night’s opening World Cup qualifier in Belgrade confident that they can take a first step towards a place at the finals tournament in Qatar next year.

Stephen Kenny’s squad is without a number of important players - the likes of John Egan, James McCarthy and Conor Hourihane - due to injury problems and Mark Travers is set to make his competitive debut in goal because of Darren Randolph’s absence but Coleman is adamant that the team’s morale and expectations are high heading into the fixture.

“They (Serbia) are a good side,” he says. “We don’t know how they will line out but their wing-backs are good and fast; they have the likes of (Dusan) Tadic and (Aleksandar) Mitrovic up top so I’m sure that they’ll be expecting to go out and get a result but we are confident too.

“We are going there with a plan and we are really looking forward to it. It would be great for us to get a result and push on from there into the rest of the campaign.”

There is some concern about such a relatively inexperienced goalkeeper - Kenny has indicated that it will be Travers - having to step in for such a big game but the skipper says he has been impressed by both the 21 year-old and the even younger Gavin Bazunu.

“We’ve been blessed to have Darren Randolph, ” says Coleman, “but we have really good young ‘keepers and very confident in themselves as well. Some of the saves they pull off in training are unbelievable and whichever of them it is that plays should enjoy it.

“The bit I’ve seen of Mark, I’d have absolutely no doubts about him. And from what I’ve seen of Gavin in games, I’d have no doubts about him either; he’s a very good young keeper.”

As for himself, Coleman returns after missing 10 games and looks to be in a strong position to start. “I can’t explain how I’ve missed it,” he says. “It’s been on my mind. I can’t even remember when the last one I played in was so just to get here, to be with the lads and the staff is an amazing feeling but putting on the green jersey is what we all want.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.