Martin O’Neill insists the Republic of Ireland are still “a million miles away” from the 2018 World Cup, despite topping their qualification group after four matches.
Ireland have beaten Georgia, Moldova and now Austria since drawing their opening game against Serbia, who trail O’Neill’s men by two points at the top of Group D.
However, although his side are in pole position after winning 1-0 in Vienna on Saturday thanks to James McClean’s second-half goal, O’Neill believes beaten opponents Austria are still in the mix to reach the tournament – along with Serbia and Wales.
“Austria naturally will be disappointed because they’ve dropped all three points here,” O’Neill said after the match.
“They drew at home here with Wales, and got beaten by Serbia. But something tells me they still have a chance.
“We’ve always believed this group will be tight and I think that teams will still take points off each other.
“I’m genuinely pleased we won the game, really pleased to have 10 points from four matches, but [qualification] is still a million miles away.”
Ireland host Wales in their next qualifying game in March, with Chris Coleman’s visitors four points off the pace as it stands.