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Republic of Ireland v Georgia: Given wary of confident Georgia

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is wary of slipping up against a confident Georgia side that handed Martin O’Neill’s team’s hopes of Euro 2016 qualification a huge boost on Friday.

Ireland moved into third place in Group D as they easily beat minnows Gibraltar 4-0 while Scotland suffered a 1-0 loss to Georgia in Tbilisi.

That pair of results has put Ireland in pole position to earn a play-off berth. O’Neill’s men are one point ahead of Scotland with three qualifiers to play.

Both Ireland and Scotland have tough matches with group leaders Germany and second-placed Poland to come, placing extra importance on Georgia’s visit to the Aviva Stadium on Monday.

Given said: “We wanted them [Georgia] to win [against Scotland], but the thing is they’ll be coming to Dublin with confidence and belief. 

“But we will have plenty of confidence as well after the win [over Gibraltar]. We could have had more goals as well.

“We played some good stuff, created some good chances, but it will be a different game. Obviously Georgia are a better team than the guys [Gibraltar], so it will be a tougher game, but we are at home and we need to win the game.

“We said after the Scottish game in Dublin that there would still be a few twists and turns, and [Friday] has shown that that’s the case.

“Scotland will be kicking themselves a little bit, but there are still a lot of games to play – well, three. But after [Friday], we have got tough games coming up.

“Obviously Monday is the game now. We have got to recover and try to get a win on Monday night.”

Georgia’s victory over Scotland marked only their second success of what has been a largely disappointing qualification campaign for Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s men, who now head to Ireland aiming to a first away win since the 3-0 triumph versus Gibraltar in October last year.

Tskhadadze, though, knows ending their drought on the road will be a difficult task.

After the win over Scotland he said: “It was important for our self-belief to win because it’s teams of Scotland’s quality that will be competing for places in major finals.

“It’s no reason to celebrate for long though because we have a more difficult game in three days’ time against Ireland and we will be focused on that game.”

Sat 5 Sep, 2015
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