O'Neill wants Republic to keep hopes alive for injured Coleman

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena Tbilisi Georgia 2/9/2017 Georgia vs Republic of Ireland Ireland's James Mc Clean and Shane Long with Referee Ivan Kruzliak

O'Neill has presided over big games during nearly four years as Ireland manager, most notably a qualifier victory over world champions Germany and a Euro 2016 finals win against Italy which secured a place in the last 16.

The loudest cheer of the second half was reserved for the introduction of Seani Maguire on 83 minutes as the ex-Cork City man replaced another former Leeside striker in the form of Shane Long.

As well as Callum O'Dowda did against Moldova on his competitive debut, the fact remains that Ireland were up against the worst side in the group by far and will expect a much tougher test against Wales.

Wales, on the other hand, have won just one of their last 10 matches against Ireland (D4 L5) and none of the last seven.

"We haven't been sat with pen and paper, but we're aware of scores elsewhere", Wales defender Gunter said.

"We've got to make sure we continue on the same path and we have the same hunger and desire as we've always had", he said. At 28, Coleman was a player in his prime, only becoming familiar with captaining his country.

"It doesn't matter for us because if we don't take care of business tomorrow night, it doesn't make a difference", revealed Gunter.

The Republic of Ireland boss is, meanwhile, boosted by the return of Robbie Brady and James McClean, both of whom served their respective one-match bans against Moldova.

"Three times since [the Euro 2016 quarter-final] we've had them all on the pitch". The Ireland right-back has not played since.

Scotland's World Cup dream was left in tatters just minutes later when Bezjak doubled his tally for the game and put Slovenia into the lead.

A home defeat for the Serbs against Georgia would see Wales or the Republic snatching top spot by winning in Cardiff. As well as the goal threat of Aaron Ramsey, Sam Vokes and Hal Robson-Kanu, Wales have the precociously talented Ben Woodburn to unleash from the bench if needs be.

"We've had our absentees in the past ourselves and we've had to cope, and Wales have had to cope without Gareth Bale before". "It's a lazy comment".

"We can't affect anyone else and we'll work things out afterwards, but first and foremost, we need to take care of what we do, not think about anyone else". O'Neill's team are also struggling for goals with only four scored in the last five games against poor opposition in Georgia and Moldova.

The 17-year-old youngster Ben Woodburn came off the bench to score a victor in Austria and set up the opener against Moldova. Ireland continued to press forward in search of goals and Shane Long should have added to the scoreline with 30 minutes remaining. It's fantastic. I tell the players: 'This is it, so don't die wondering.

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