world cup play-offs

Ireland afraid of no-one in play-offs, says Kilbane

October 18, 2009

Kevin Kilbane insists the Republic of Ireland await Monday's draw for the World Cup play-offs afraid of no-one. Giovanni Trapattoni's side will meet either France, Portugal, Russia or Greece over two legs on November 14 and 18 with a place at next summer's finals at stake.

Glenn Whelan, Ireland
APThe Irish have confidence at a high level.

The draw, to be made at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich at lunchtime, has been controversial following the decision to introduce seedings. Republic coach Trapattoni has led the criticism of a system that was announced only last month, but international centurion Kilbane is confident his side will prevail whoever they draw.

''We knew from the results last weekend who the top four sides were probably going to be,'' said the Hull midfielder. ''We are not happy about the way the seeding has gone but you have to move on from that.

''We have got a big draw to come tomorrow and we will look at that and see who we get. You can't really look at any side in terms of preference. They have all got dangerous players and qualities.

''Whoever we get, we get, and I think we are confident of beating anyone over two legs. You focus on yourselves and be the team you have been throughout the campaign. Hopefully that will be enough.

''We've got a lot of players in the squad who are hungry and ready for a big tournament.''

Alongside the Republic in pot two of the draw are the Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. Whoever the Republic meet, midfielder Stephen Hunt believes there will be no margin for error.

''We can't afford to make mistakes in the play-offs because you are out, it's as simple as that,'' said Hunt ''We have to be ruthless and mentally strong coming down the final stretch.''