Hendrick ready for tough task

10 October 2017 03:04:49 EST
James McClean was the Ireland matchwinner in Cardiff.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick insists his side will not make it easy for their opponents in their play-off tie to reach the World Cup finals.

James McClean was the hero in the Cardiff City Stadium, as his goal secured a crucial 1-0 win over hosts Wales which left the Irish in second place in Group D behind Serbia.

I think everybody that plays us knows they are in for a hard game.

Jeff Hendrick

That sets up a play-off tie against one of seven other teams, a group which includes the likes of Italy and Croatia, with Portugal, France and Sweden all possible opponents.

But Hendrick is confident that his team-mates will be up for the task, telling Sky Sports: "We always said that once we had one game it's a do-or-die and when it comes to the big games this group of lads show up.

"I think everybody that plays us knows they are in for a hard game. We might not pass the ball as much as other countries, but we've got the spirit.

"We've got two big games, we've just got to keep going and we've got to show that spirit again."

Meanwhile, head coach Martin O'Neill was delighted at seeing his team deliver when it really mattered, adding: "We are in the play-offs. Whenever the draw is made we will take our chances.

"The impression of our campaign? Absolutely delighted. When the draw was made I thought we had a very difficult group. We have come through, fantastic."

Ireland are currently priced at 300/1 to win the World Cup in Russia next summer, with England available at 20/1 and five-time winners Brazil 11/2.

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