Ronan Hale knows importance of Ireland U21s' clash with Israel

Ronan Hale knows importance of Ireland U21s' clash with Israel

Ronan Hale will head into the Ireland's penultimate European Under-21 Championship qualifier in Israel knowing victory is the only option.

The 20-year-old and his team-mates face the Israelis at the Akko Municipal Stadium on Thursday before a final-game showdown with Group 5 leaders Germany on Tuesday evening, with their qualification hopes in the balance.

Ronan Hale knows importance of Ireland U21s' clash with Israel

Hale, currently on loan at Derry City from Birmingham, told the FAI's website: "We know what we have to do. It's a must-win and that's got to be the focus.

"We've done really well to get ourselves into this position and we need to keep it up until the very last game. It's going to be tough as they're different conditions to what we're used to, but we can be confident.

"The lads are brilliant and we're in good shape. Training has been at a really high standard and we beat them earlier in the campaign, so we're positive."

Ireland slipped to third place in the group as a result of last month's 6-0 drubbing by Germany at Tallaght Stadium, four days after Ronan Curtis' late equaliser in Kosovo had kept them on track.

They will run out in Israel level on 14 points with second-placed Norway and five behind the Germans, and they know a win in Akko is essential if they are to travel to Heidenheim on Tuesday with any chance of making it to next summer's finals in Italy and San Marino.

Portsmouth striker Curtis, like Mansfield defender Ryan Sweeney, is back after sitting out the Germany game through suspension, a ban which saw him drafted into Martin O'Neill's senior squad for the friendly in Poland, while Coventry winger Jordan Shipley has been included for the first time.

However, midfielder Ryan Manning will miss both games after picking up an injury playing for loan club Rotherham at the weekend.

- PA

More in this Section

Number of Graham Geraghty's stolen medals recovered Number of Graham Geraghty's stolen medals recovered

George and Leonard finally pair up as Clippers take down CelticsGeorge and Leonard finally pair up as Clippers take down Celtics

Former Scotland captain Tom Smith fighting colorectal cancerFormer Scotland captain Tom Smith fighting colorectal cancer

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media


Lifestyle

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can occur for a few reasons.Natural health: I'm seven months pregnant and have low blood pressure; I have psorasis due to work pressure

Almost every year, at about this time, loaves of beautifully packaged Panettone start appearing in delicatessen shops.Michelle Darmody: It's the time of the year for Panettone

It can be difficult to diagnose early.World Pancreatic Cancer Day: The signs to look out for

With flights resuming to the world famous Egyptian resort, now is the time to go, says Sarah Marshall.This is why you should be diving in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2020

More From The Irish Examiner