EURO 2016: Martin O'Neill calls on Republic of Ireland players to give their all against France
Martin O'Neill has urged the Republic of Ireland to go out with all guns blazing if they cannot extend their Euro 2016 adventure by dumping hosts France out of the competition.
Ireland produced their best performance for years on Wednesday night to beat Italy 1-0 and secure their passage to the last 16, but manager O’Neill knows they will have to be equally good, if not better, to upset one of the favourites to lift the trophy on July 10.
But as they prepare for their date with destiny at the Stade de Lyon on Sunday, the 64-year-old has insisted he will send out his team to win the game and not to simply try to stay in it.
O’Neill said: “I have spent my time in the last two-odd years here in qualification sending out what I would consider adventurous teams to win games.
“We played a very adventurous game against Sweden, we weren’t allowed to play well against Belgium and that can happen because they are a top-class side.
“They are rated one or two in the world at the moment, so that might tell you something about them and they are entitled to be able to pass it past us occasionally.
“In the game against Italy, we knew needed some extra energy in the team. We have some older players playing, certainly in their 30s, so we had to get that energy into the side, which we did - and not only did we have that energy, we played brilliantly in the match, so we have those things to look forward to.
“But I don’t think you would want to head out of the competition meekly, that’s the most important thing. You want to go out blazing if you can and we want to try to stay in it because we feel we can do something.”