Clark: We can't relax for a second

Ciaran Clark has warned the Republic of Ireland will not be able to relax as they attempt to dent Sweden's World Cup hopes

Last Updated: 19/03/13 at 07:27 Post Comment

Ciaran Clark: Wary of Sweden's forward potency

Ciaran Clark: Wary of Sweden's forward potency

Ciaran Clark has warned his Republic of Ireland team-mates they will not be able to relax for a second as they attempt to dent Sweden's hopes of World Cup qualification.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men head for the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Friday night knowing victory would put them in the driving seat to claim second place in Group C behind favourites Germany.

By the same token, defeat four days before they entertain their other main rivals, Austria, at the Aviva Stadium would represent a massive blow to their own hopes.

Sweden famously pulled off a stunning fightback in Germany when, after trailing 4-0 with just 35 minutes remaining, they fought back to snatch a 4-4 draw, and that will serve as warning enough of the threat they pose to Ireland.

Clark said: "The game is 90 minutes-plus, so you can't take your foot off the gas no matter what is happening.

"They can score goals, they have shown that, and it's about us trying to prevent that and for us going out there to get the win.

"But it's a game of 90 minutes and you can't take your foot off the gas at all.

"The lads here have been brilliant the last two days in training, and we will work hard now leading up to the game and work hard on ways we can win the game.

"All the lads are confident we can go and get something out of the game."

Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic launched the spectacular comeback in Berlin with his side's first goal, and his presence in the starting line-up could present the Republic with real problems if he performs to his best.

Clark will hope he gets a chance to test himself against the hugely-destructive frontman, whose methods will be drummed into the Aston Villa player and his defensive colleagues in Malahide over the next couple of days.

Asked how Ibrahimovic can be stopped, Clark said with a smile: "I don't know, to be honest.

"We are going to work on it in the next few days in training and hopefully we can do enough to do it.

"It's a team of 11 players, it's not just a one-man team. They have got some top-class players, they are all going to be well up for the game and we need to keep an eye on everyone, not just one man."

Should Clark get the nod ahead of the likes of Sean St Ledger and Darren O'Dea, he would head into the game brimming with confidence after helping Villa to back-to-back Barclays Premier league victories which have significantly boosted their survival hopes.

The 23-year-old said: "A couple of wins and you come away from it. It's tough, but each game, you have just got to focus on that game at hand and the next game coming up.

"We have got a young squad and I am sure we are more than capable of getting a few more wins and pulling away from it."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Premier League: Joe Hart agrees long-term contract with Manchester City

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Manchester United can still win title

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert believes Saturday's opponents Manchester United can still win the Barclays Premier League.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini confident James Milner will sign new deal at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident James Milner will soon sign a new contract with the club.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property