Republic of Ireland boss, Martin O’Neill has warned his players to pay extra attention on Scotland striker, Steven Fletcher when both countries clash at the Celtic Park, Scotland in a 2016 European qualifying match Friday night.
Ireland go into the tie on the back of a 1-1 draw against World Champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen last month. Scotland earned a 2-2 draw on the same night away to Group D leaders Poland, and O’Neill is relishing his return to a ground where he enjoyed so much success during a five-year spell in charge of Celtic Football Club.
O’Neill signed Fletcher when he was manager of Sunderland and he reckons the form of the striker and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was key to the team’s English Premier League, EPL survival. And the Ireland manager has noted Fletcher’s recent upturn in form ahead of the eagerly-awaited match.
O’Neill said “Steven is a very good player. I signed him for Sunderland and my own view was that his goals were instrumental in keeping the side up, as well as Simon Mignolet’s performances in goal, so the two of them can take credit for that. But he has had a few injury problems – he was injured for Scotland at the back end of that particular season and has fought his way back, so he is in very good form at the moment.”
O’Neill faces some tough decisions going into the game, with Darron Gibson, Stephen Quinn and Jeff Hendrick all in his thoughts. Derby midfielder Hendrick has just eight senior caps to his name, but O’Neill is confident the 22-year-old could do a job against Scotland if he was asked to.
Tonight’s Euro 2016 Qualifying Fixtures
Georgia vs Poland 17:00
Germany vs Gibraltar 19:45
Scotland vs R. of Ireland 19:45
Greece vs Faroe Islands 19:45
Hungary vs Finland 19:45
Romania vs Northern Ireland 19:45
Portugal vs Armenia 19:45
Serbia vs Denmark 19:45