MX23RW : Sunday, October 17 06:56:58| >> :600:505356:505356:

Matt Doherty hopes Republic of Ireland soothe Portugal pain against Azerbaijan

Matt Doherty hopes Republic of Ireland soothe Portugal pain against Azerbaijan
© Reuters
Ireland are targeting a first win of the Group A campaign at the Aviva Stadium.

Matt Doherty has urged the Republic of Ireland to soothe the bitter disappointment inflicted upon them by Cristiano Ronaldo by finally opening their World Cup qualifying account against Azerbaijan.

Ireland host the Azeris at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening having seen a famous victory wrestled from their grasp in Portugal on Wednesday night when the 36-year-old Manchester United superstar scored twice at the death to overturn a 1-0 deficit just when it was starting to look decisive.

Neither side has yet registered a single Group A point, but Doherty saw enough in Faro to believe manager Stephen Kenny's methods are starting to pay dividends.

The Tottenham full-back said: "Even though we lost the game, we should be going in with confidence. Everyone played a really good game, everyone's confidence should be sky-high.

"Obviously we would feel extremely good if we had held out, but that's not the case and it's gone now.

"We need to get a win anyway to get into the group. We know we're going in the right direction in terms of performance, but we're here to win games.

"We didn't manage to do that (in Portugal), but Azerbaijan is the next game and we need three points to get up and running."

Ireland turned in arguably their best performance under Kenny to date in the 14th game of his reign at the Estadio Algarve and led a team ranked eighth in the world by FIFA until the 89th-minute.

Doherty, who called for players to stand up and be counted after a comprehensive 3-0 friendly defeat by England at Wembley in November last year, has seen a significant improvement since, although he admits the sting of a defeat – which for so long looked like being a victory – still hurts.

He said: "When you are sitting in your room at night, you do think about it and we had five minutes to hold out.

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny is hoping to welcome back fans with the first competitive win of his reign
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny is hoping to welcome back fans with the first competitive win of his reign (Trenka Attila/PA)

"I guess the worst thing is that we actually lost. It's OK for them to score, but you still think that, 'OK, we drew, that's fine, they scored at the end'. But to concede twice does hurt a lot."

Kenny's task is to ensure there is no repeat of the hangover which afflicted his team back in March when, three days after losing 3-2 in Serbia after another promising display, they were humbled 1-0 by Luxembourg on their own pitch.

The manager, who will send his team out in front of home fans for the first time still looking for his maiden competitive victory, said: "That was certainly part of our learning. We got to such a level against Serbia that for some players who had not being playing regularly – or not playing at all, really – to go again three days later and get to that level was difficult.

"It is something that we are cognisant of and we just have to make sure we are right."

Kenny, who has lost defenders Dara O'Shea and Nathan Collins to injury, has drafted Celtic defender Liam Scales, Preston midfielder Alan Browne and West Brom striker Callum Robinson, after his recovery from a second bout of Covid-19, into the squad for a game in which defeat is unthinkable if any hope of qualification is to remain alive.

However, he said: "There's no reason for me to think like that.

"We can see the team evolve and progress and we know we want to go and perform well and show our quality and put in a really strong display and hopefully get the victory we need.

"There's no point on me reflecting on 'what if' and wondering. We have to be positive and try to go to win."

ID:462142:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect8883:

Click here for more stories about Matt Doherty

Click here for more stories about Azerbaijan

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his record-breaking goal for Portugal against the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier on September 1, 2021
Read Next:
John Egan pushes Ireland to improve after Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo-led win
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
AFC Champions League
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 2
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea86111631319
2Liverpool85302261618
3Manchester CityMan City85211631317
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton843185315
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd84221610614
6Everton7421138514
7Brentford8332107312
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves840488012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs7403610-412
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham73221410411
11Leicester CityLeicester83231314-111
12Aston Villa83141212010
13Arsenal7313510-510
14Crystal Palace7142811-37
15Southampton8143610-47
16Watford8215715-87
17Leeds UnitedLeeds8134715-86
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle7034816-83
19Burnley8035513-83
20Norwich CityNorwich8026216-142

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!