JOHN O’SHEA has backed the Republic of Ireland to qualify for the 2012 European Championship finals.
The Manchester United defender believes the success of Giovanni Trapattoni’s side in recent friendlies against Paraguay and Algeria proves the Republic are ‘‘heading in the right direction’’.
Dunne is confident the Republic of Ireland can emerge from a group that includes Russia, Slovakia, Macedonia and Armenia to reach a first major tournament since 2002.
“We have a great chance of qualifying for the European finals,’’ O’Shea said.
“From the friendly games we played in the summer I have to say that things are looking good. We’re heading in the right direction.’’
O’Shea is looking to the future but admits he found the World Cup “tough’’ to watch.
“We came so close to making it to South Africa,’’ he reflected, “and it was tough to watch the World Cup. It hit home when it all started – I felt we should have been there.’’
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