Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

King - Turkey clash 'a must-win game'

Ireland Under-21 manager Noel King is determined to see his side's Euro 2013 qualification hopes go to the wire.

The Irish youngsters go into Tuesday's crucial Group Seven clash with Turkey at Sligo's Showgrounds in with a chance of a play-off place. With three matches remaining - the other two in Hungary and group leaders Italy next month - there is now little margin for error.

After claiming 10 points from five matches to date, Ireland are aiming for one of the four best runner-up slots from the 10 groups. King told Press Association Sport: "To definitely get there we probably need seven points."

He added: "It's possible we could get six points and not qualify, but seven I believe would take us through for sure."

With Turkey playing their final group game on Tuesday and currently two points ahead of Ireland, King added: "It is a must-win game.

"But then from Turkey's perspective it's a must-win for them too because if they lose then they are doomed.

"Even if they win I still don't think they will finish as one of the top four runners-up.

"But with three games to go I'm just delighted we're involved. I would like us to push it right to the last game with Italy.

"Going into that game knowing we could qualify would be terrific, and whatever format that takes, I'm not bothered."

From an original 22-man squad there have been five withdrawals through injury - Rhys Murphy (groin), Aaron Doran (hamstring), Gavin Gunning (groin), Jeff Hendrick (wrist) and Sean Murray (family bereavement) - leading to a call up for Ipswich's Ronan Murray.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph