Let’s hurt Gibraltar early, says Stephen Quinn

Despite all the soundings emanating from the Irish camp about Gibraltar’s steady improvement over this Euro qualifying campaign, Stephen Quinn cut to the chase when considering the challenge posed by tomorrow night’s opponents in Faro.

“Gibraltar are having a good lash at it, to be fair to them, but we should be beating them and beating them comfortably,” said the 29-year-old who, along with compatriot Paul McShane, joined Reading from relegated Hull City in the summer.

“We’ve to get out of the traps early, get the goals early and finish off the game. I don’t see why we shouldn’t go out and enjoy the game, try and get as many goals we can and express ourselves. We don’t want any upsets, we don’t want them getting any confidence in the game. We need to get early goals and kill the game, get it done and we can concentrate on the big game on Monday against Georgia.”

It was against the Georgians a year ago Quinn won his first competitive cap as Martin O’Neill’s maiden qualification campaign took flight with a 2-1 win inspired by Aiden McGeady’s brace. Less happy for the midfielder was the experience of featuring at Celtic Park two months later, when Scotland inflicted what could well prove a mortal wound to Ireland’s prospects of reaching France.

“We played well enough in the second- half against the Scots to have won rather than lost that game,” he lamented. “I was angry on the pitch and got booked. Once we get that finishing touch to our play, hopefully the good results will come and put us in a good position to qualify.”

It might be Uefa’s lowest-ranked nation which Ireland are facing but Quinn revealed the pre-match regime has allowed for scant down-time since the squad assembled on Sunday night.

“The lads wanted to have a round of golf this week but that was knocked on the head,” he outlined.

“They went to the cinema on Tuesday night – I didn’t, as myself and Robbie Keane stayed back to watch Dundalk versus Shamrock Rovers live on the television.

“But the golf was knocked on the head and that was that.

“We wanted to concentrate on these two games that are really big for us in the grand scheme of things.

“Everyone has to stay on their toes as you could get lackadaisical if the team you are playing against aren’t great — you think you could get a walkover.”


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