‘We’ll be ready for play-offs’, vows Rep of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill

first_img1 Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has vowed his side will be ready for whatever is thrown at them as they prepare for the Euro 2016 play-offs.O’Neill’s men will go into the hat for Sunday’s draw after losing their final qualifier in Poland 2-1 on Sunday evening to finish third in Group D.Grzegorz Krychowiak handed Poland a 13th-minute lead with a sweetly-struck effort from distance, but Walters gave Ireland fresh hope from the penalty spot just three minutes later.However, Robert Lewandowski’s powerful header – his 15th goal in six games – with three minutes of the first half remaining proved to be the difference between the teams on a night when striker Shane Long was carried from the field on a stretcher.They are unlikely to be seeded and will be without suspended duo John O’Shea, who was sent off for two bookable offences at the Narodowy Stadium, and Jonathan Walters, who collected his third caution of the campaign, through suspension for next month’s first leg.However, a bullish O’Neill, who saw defender Richard Keogh force a late save from Lukasz Fabianski, said: “Tonight was disappointing in the result but funnily enough for all of that, Richard heads the ball into the net with six or seven minutes left in the game and we’re in France. It’s that close.“Poland, who are a very, very fine side, went down at every opportunity, as you would expect them to, to cut the game.“The game was stop-start a lot of the match and in the second half, it was very much that case, so I will draw great solace and great determination from the players and their efforts.“We are still there and whoever we play, we will be as ready as we possibly can be.”last_img read more