MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 18:45:07

John Aldridge: 'Martin O'Neill got his tactics bang on'

John Aldridge believes that Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill got his tactics "bang on" as the Boys in Green reached the World Cup playoffs.

Former Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge has described Martin O'Neill's tactics in the nation's World Cup qualifying campaign as "bang on".

The Boys in Green finished second in Group D and qualified for the playoffs by virtue of being one of the best eight runners-up in Europe.

Ireland's passage to the two-legged ties was assured thanks to an impressive 1-0 away win over Wales on Monday night, James McClean's strike consigning the Dragons to third place.

Asked how big an achievement Monday's result is, Aldridge told Sky Sports News: "It's huge. I'm not getting too carried away because there's a lot of work to be done.

"I have to say, a few weeks ago I thought it was beyond us really. We managed to give ourselves a lifeline. It's brilliant, the way it happened. That feeling was magic.

"Martin [O'Neill] got his tactics bang on. Wales had some very good players, a good team. I thought it was a terrific all-round fighting display."

O'Ireland will find out their playoff opponents next Tuesday, with both ties taking place in the first fortnight of November.

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Chris Coleman the Wales manager waves to the crowd during the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying match between Wales and Belgium at the Cardiff City Stadium on June 12, 2015
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