IRELAND DEFENDER MARC Wilson has urged Ireland to “pass the ball” more, as they prepare for a must-win World Cup qualifier against Austria this Tuesday.
The Irish side were criticised for their cautious, long-ball approach in Friday’s disappointing loss to Sweden, and Wilson believes the team could benefit from a more adventurous approach.
“I think we need to play through the middle a bit more, pass the ball to create chances for us to go forward,” he said.
“We’re allowed to go forward. I don’t think we get in enough good positions to get ourselves forward.”
Wilson admitted that the tendency to constantly play long balls doesn’t help in their attempts to create chances, but said they weren’t discouraged from passing by manager Giovanni Trapattoni “in general,” though “maybe for the first 10 minutes of the game to take the pressure off ourselves,” he added.
The Stoke defender also acknowledged that the performance on Friday was not acceptable.
“For the Sweden game, the lads were absolutely devastated after. In the first half, we played alright. Second half, I don’t think we played well enough to get a result.
“We’ve got to hold our hands up and take responsibility.
“We haven’t had a lot of time together and the season has just started, but it’s still no excuse. The other night wasn’t good enough.”
And Wilson has emphasised that three points is imperative against Austria.
“We need a win from it and hopefully the Kazakhs can do us a favour against the Swedes,” he said.
“I don’t think you can start thinking about [the World Cup dream being over].
“Everyone had doubt in their minds after the game. I think that’s natural. But obviously, there’s a small chance we can still qualify, so we’ve got to go with that.”
And while most fans aren’t overly optimistic that Trap’s side can get a positive result, Wilson remains adamant that it is possible.
“If we’re going to go to Austria and not turn up, then there’s no point going at all. We’ve got to go there in the frame of mind to get the three points.
“We went and got a draw with Sweden, and Sweden have come here and beat us. So we have to beat Austria. We can’t go with any other thought.”
Meanwhile, Richard Dunne and Jon Walters sat out the team’s training session at Malahide today, but both are expected to be fit for Tuesday.
Stephen Quinn was last night called up in place of the injured Glenn Whelan.
– Audio courtesy of 98FM