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

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

T

his specializing in mediocrity will only stop when Wenger and his entire back room staff are cleared out. Dortmund are everything Arsenal should be; in fact they're everything Arsenal thought they were, until they met this supreme doppelg nger.

dr soccer
The Bitter Taste Of Arsenal Déjà Vu

Footer 365

Kagawa: My heart stayed in Dortmund

Shinji Kagawa admits life at Manchester United was "particularly difficult", but the playmaker says his heart was always at Borussia Dortmund.

Sky Sources: Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set to leave club

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears set to leave the club following talks over his future, Sky sources understand.

Championship: Alex Tettey has signed a new two-year deal with Norwich City

Alex Tettey has signed a new two-year deal with Norwich City, with the option to extend for a further year.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

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