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King to ring the changes

Noel King will look for further evidence of the depth of his squad as the Republic of Ireland's Under-21s lock horns with Russia on Monday evening.

The sides will meet at the Marbella Football Centre two days after Ireland lost 1-0 to the United States at the nearby San Pedro Stadium.

King, who is in Spain with his players for a winter training camp, watched the Russians lose to their American counterparts by the odd goal in seven on Wednesday, and is expecting his much-changed team to face another tough challenge.

He said: "We'll make another six changes so that we get a good look at people. If we get as much from this as we did from yesterday's game, I'll be delighted.

"I thought Russia were a technically better side than the US, but unfortunately for them they gave away two penalties, which cost them the game.

"They have a different style to their game than how the US play, so I'm looking forward to seeing how our players deal with that."

The Republic went down 1-0 to the United States as Dembakwi Yomba's early strike proved decisive, although but for American keeper Santiago Castano, they might have got something from the game.

King said: "If you don't finish chances, you'd be concerned, but that was basically it. I was looking at all the positives from yesterday and I felt it was a positive performances from the group."


From Belfast Telegraph