Republic U21 coach expects effort

Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Noel King will give some of his younger players a chance to impress away to Italy on Monday (5.30pm BST).

Last Updated: 09/09/12 at 20:24

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King is looking to end the country's failed Euro 2013 qualification campaign on a high.

Last week's 2-1 defeat in Hungary means the Republic U21s go into their final European U21 Championship qualifier five points off second-place Turkey and therefore with no chance of making next year's finals in Israel.

King has called up a number of players from the side that made the semi-final of last year's Under-19 European Championship for the game in the Stadio Giuseppe Capozza in Casarano.

Samir Carruthers, Derrick Williams and Watford striker Connor Smith - who are all 19-years-old - are three of the players who will be looking to impress King on Monday.

"There's nothing we can do about qualifying now," King said.

"I would have liked to take it to the last game but that's not to be and it's up to us to take what we can out of the last game.

"We have a lot players born in 1992 or 1993 involved who will be eligible for the next campaign but we have to be careful how we use them because the Italians are a very good team.

"We don't want to just throw everybody at them so we have to think about how best to use them and see where we go from there.

"It's not just a dress rehearsal for the next campaign. We also have to try and win the game. Any time you play Italy an away point is a super point but if you can get three, then it's even better obviously."

Goals from Robbie Brady, who has now been called into the senior squad, and Greg Cunningham completed a memorable 2-2 comeback for King's side in the reverse fixture in June and the manager is looking for a similar performance from his young guns on Monday.

"That was a very good performance. We drew 2-2 and we could have won the match," King said.

"We had pegged them back and were steaming at them. If we'd taken our late chances they'd have had no return from that.

"The performances were good but there's a lot of players missing from that game now. It doesn't matter. This is the start of a new campaign and it's a great opportunity to give people a chance to see what it is like at this level.

"We don't want to waste this opportunity. We want to see these excellent young players. Italy are brilliant but we always do well against them and we want to do well again.

"To see how they perform against Italy will be great for them, great for me and we'll have an idea about how they'll perform in the future."

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