Ireland aim to finish group on a high
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli has pledged that tomorrow night's concluding fixture of World Cup qualifying Group Eight against Montenegro will see the Irish looking to preserve their unbeaten record.
Ireland confirmed their position as runner-up to Italy due to Saturday's 2-2 draw against the World Champions, ensuring them a play-off shot in mid-November at reaching next year's showpiece in South Africa.
Montenegro, having claimed four points in their last two qualifiers, carry with them the incentive of inflicting a first defeat of the campaign on Ireland, something Tardelli is keen to avoid.
"It's very important for the players. We don't want to lose because it is important to arrive at the end of the group stage without a defeat," said the Italian following Monday's squad training session at Gannon Park, Malahide.
"That's important for us. England lost and other important teams have lost and it's important for the Irish team to arrive at the end undefeated."
Tardelli was glad to confirm that all squad members came through training without any injury problems, giving Giovanni Trapattoni almost a full hand to choose from for the game.
One definite absentee is Glenn Whelan, the scorer of Ireland's wonderful first goal against Italy at the weekend. The Stoke City midfielder collected his second booking of the campaign and is suspended.
Damien Duff is vying for involvement having taken a full part in training so far this week. Duff missed Saturday's game due to a calf strain.
The play-off draw for the World Cup qualifiers is scheduled to take place next Monday.