Martin O’Neill takes heart from Republic display

Republic of Ireland Manager Martin ONeill

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Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill believes Sunday’s goalless draw with England was the ideal preparation for the crucial clash with Scotland.

England have come in for some heavy criticism following their limp display in the Aviva Stadium, which left Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson struggling to find any positives.

However O’Neill was far more upbeat and believes the performance will give his side a lift ahead of the European Championship qualifier against the Scots.

The Republic will leapfrog Scotland in Group D if they win at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.

“It was exactly what we needed,” the Republic manager said.

“In the last 15 minutes we looked pretty tired, but we started off brightly and maybe could have scored a couple of goals. We certainly had a couple of decent chances.

“But overall it was good for us and from a physical viewpoint it couldn’t have been better timed.”

O’Neill also had good news from the treatment room, with a number of key players likely to be fit for the clash.

“Jon [Walters] was just feeling a little bit, but I think everybody’s okay,” O’Neill told reporters.

“John O’Shea’s calf was tightening up on him, so I made a change there. It’s something he’s suffered a little bit from in the past and I’m hoping in next couple of games he comes through that.”

Ireland are 2.35 to win on home soil, with Scotland priced at 3.08, while the draw is 3.03.

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