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Martin O’Neill has promised Republic of Ireland will be going out to win when they face Bosnia-Herzegovina in their Euro 2016 play-off second leg in Dublin.
The Irish emerged from a misty night in Zenica on Friday with a 1-1 draw that gives them the slenderest of advantages ahead of the second leg at the Aviva Stadium.
A scoreless draw would be enough for O’Neill to lead Ireland to a major tournament finals at the first time of asking but the former Celtic manager says they cannot afford to rest on their laurels – suggesting such a plan would be a “recipe for disaster”.
He told reporters: “We have to put things into perspective: Bosnia are capable of scoring, they could wipe that advantage, that away goal that we have within minutes of the game, and then suddenly they are on the front foot.
“If we think that we can keep them out for 90 minutes and camp ourselves just outside our own penalty area, that would be a recipe for disaster.”
The Republic are set to welcome back Jonathan Walters, John O’Shea and Shane Long after they missed the first leg.
O’Neill said his squad must relish playing the deciding game on home soil knowing that victory will seal their place in France next summer. He says his players have disproved any theory they were not committed to the cause when he took over from Giovanni Trapattoni.
“There was a feeling beforehand that some players just weren’t that bothered about playing for their country – I haven’t witnessed it and I haven’t experienced it in the two years that I’ve been here,” he added.
Ireland are 2.50 to defeat Bosnia in their second leg tussle while the 0-0 draw is priced at 6.50. The returning Walters is 7.50 to score first.