Football News

International Friendly Preview: Poland v Republic of Ireland

Created on 18 Nov., 2013 10:01 AM GMT

Martin O'Neill expects Tuesday's friendly against Poland in Poznan to be the first real test of his Republic of Ireland tenure.

O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane eased into international management with a 3-0 victory against Latvia in Dublin on Friday.

Ireland dominated against a Latvia side ranked 177th in the world and should have scored more than the three goals from Robbie Keane, Aiden McGeady and Shane Long.

Poland, like Ireland, failed to qualify for next year's FIFA World Cup but go into the game having suffered three consecutive defeats without scoring a goal.

Adam Nawalka's side were consigned to a 2-0 home reverse by Slovakia on Friday, but O'Neill has seen enough of them to know they will give him a good indication of the task he has taken on.

The former Sunderland boss said: "Well, regardless of the performance and the result last night, I think anyone who saw them (Poland) against England would say they are a very decent side, so I think we will have our work cut out.

"We can't get carried away with ourselves. Lots of things could happen. When the big games come in, it's a matter of having your best players available, and that might not always be the case.

"I felt the performance (on Friday) was excellent. I mentioned last night, there will be sterner tests than Latvia, but it was good."

O'Neill is set to make changes following Friday's comfortable win, with David Forde replacing Keiren Westwood in goal.

Nottingham Forest midfielder Andy Reid - who appeared as a second-half substitute against Latvia - has withdrawn from the squad with a hamstring issue, while West Ham defender Joey O'Brien will undergo a scan on a similar problem before the match in Poznan.

Leicester City centre-back Sean St Ledger is also a doubt with a knock.

Nawalka was also only appointed to the Poland post last month, and he will be expecting a response from his players after suffering defeat in his first game in charge.

The 56-year-old pinpointed Poland's defensive frailties as a concern following the loss to Slovakia and he could also ring the changes.

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