Shay on Cyprus:
“There not minnows any more. They’re quick on the break and on counter-attack they’re very very dangerous. The two strikers they have, have got a wealth of European experience, both in Champions League and obviously for Cyprus as well. We know they’re a quality team but we’re on our home pitch with a fantastic crowd behind us. We hope to go out there and cause them more problems than they’ve caused us”.
When asked if Shay felt it was a revenge mission tonight to get the 5:2 in Cyprus out of the Irish history:
“Nobody can ever change those results, they’re in the history books. We just have to focus on getting the right result. Whatever happens will never change losing out there 5:2 and drawing at Croke Park 1:1, but all we do know, is it’s our first home qualifying game for this campaign. It’s a big opportunity of us to keep the momentum going from the two away games last month and hopefully grab us 7 points and help us look forward to next year.”
“We do a lot of shape in training and team play. He makes it out exactly how he wants us to play when we have the ball and when we don’t have the ball. He has a big thing on keeping clean sheets and defending as a team from the forwards going right back to me in goals. He’s very adamant about closing the opposition down as a team not just as a defence and I think it’s been working pretty good so far”.
On whether the team is more compact now since Trappatoni took over:
“We’ve been working on that. He’s been very adamant about us getting our team shape when we lose the ball, with the two midfielders in front of the back-four and the two wingers tucking in and the two forwards working hard to win the ball back and defend as a unit. It’s working well so far, hopefully we can keep it going against Cyprus.
With results going Ireland’s way at the weekend:
“It’s a massive game for the whole country. The players are excited and looking forward to it. We had a decent start with two tricky away games, but we’re back in our home patch and we’d obviously love to start with three points.”
On Kevin Kilbane’s experience:
“Yes, he’s been a fantastic servant to the country and he’s a very fit guy as well so hopefully he’s got a few years left in him yet. (laughing)
On the crowd’s influence on the game:
“We hope the crowd are up for it like we are and be our twelfth man and create a fantastic atmosphere and we’ll give them hopefully a great result.
On the back-four’s experince:
“Yes, Richard Dunne and John O’Shea are two great players with a lot of experience in the Premiership and international level as well but Steve Finnan will be missing for Cyprus and I’m not sure whose going to play there yet but whoever does come in at right-back will do a great job I’m sure”.
Taken from the FAI’s Podcast interview with Shay. More FAI Podcast are available here.