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Damien Delaney not intimidated by Germany challenge

Updated: Friday, 11 Oct 2013 13:25 | Comments

Cork native Damien Delaney could win an eighth cap against Germany
Cork native Damien Delaney could win an eighth cap against Germany

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Damien Delaney has warned Germany not to write off the Republic of Ireland in tonight's World Cup qualifier in Cologne.

The Germans will ensure their participation in next summer's finals in Brazil if they condemn Ireland to a third successive defeat, and the odds are heavily stacked in their favour after a 6-1 demolition job in Dublin 12 months ago.

In addition, interim boss Noel King's men will go into the game at the Rhein Energie Stadion without suspended defensive duo Richard Dunne and John O'Shea, while talismanic skipper Robbie Keane is a major doubt with an ankle problem.

However, 32-year-old Crystal Palace defender Delaney, who is likely to be asked to help plug the gap left by Dunne and O'Shea, insists the result is far from a foregone conclusion.

He said: "Upsets have happened before and it's a possibility.

“It would be a big one, but I just think if we have a game-plan, if we stick to it, everyone buys into it, who knows what can happen? They are obviously a very good side and we accept that, but we are not a bad side either."

If Delaney gets the nod, he will win his eighth senior cap for his country, but his first in a competitive game. However, he is not at all fazed by the prospect of lining up against Joachim Low's all-star side.

He said: "It's another game of football, I'm not going to get too worried about it if I do play.

"The manager hasn't named the team yet - if I'm in it, great; if I'm not, then I will be behind the lads who do start because whatever we do tomorrow night, it's going to be a group effort.

"It's going to take every one of us. If the manager chooses to put me in, then I'll be ready and I'll definitely give it my all.

"Everyone in the squad will do that. It's all you can ask of anyone in life, just to do everything you possibly can."

"It's another game of football, I'm not going to get too worried about it if I do play" - Damien Delaney

Delaney would at least go into the game having tested himself against arguably the most in-form strike-force in English football after attempting to shackle Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in Palace's 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Liverpool on Saturday.

It was an experience which proved a sobering, yet educational one even for a man approaching the autumn of his career.

He said: "Last Saturday, I faced probably the best strike-partnership in the Premier League at the minute. That's probably as good as it gets with those two.

"You learn something after that game - I'm a better player today than I was before that game. Those two, the form they are in, were pretty exceptional."

However, asked if that had prepared him for the Germans, Delaney said with a smile: "They have only got the one centre-forward in the squad, haven't they?"

Live television coverage of Germany v Republic of Ireland from 19:00 on Friday 11 October on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (ROI only). Live radio coverage on Game On from 19:00 on RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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