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Ireland U21 manager Noel King wary of Faroe threat

Updated: Friday, 15 Nov 2013 13:14 | Comments

John Egan returns to the squad following injury
John Egan returns to the squad following injury

Noel King has warned his Republic of Ireland Under-21s players they can take nothing for granted as they attempt to re-ignite their European Championship qualifying campaign against the Faroe Islands.

The Under 21s welcome the Faroes to the Showgrounds in Sligo this afternoon (3.45pm) having beaten them 4-1 in Toftir in August, but not without a fight.

Indeed, the Group Six minnows led leaders Germany twice in Kassel last month before eventually succumbing 3-2.

King said: "We played them before and it took us 30 minutes to equalise. It was 1-1 at half-time.

"The boys are well aware that this is a side with a threat. There's no question of us being lackadaisical.

"The Faroes led against us, they drew 2-2 with Romania and with 15 minutes to go against Germany, they were 2-1 up so they are better than a decent side.

"They are very good, fit and well-organised. They will be coming here trying to get a result. People may be expecting us to win, but it's not an easy task.

"They have a lot of players of a similar quality. They are aggressive and have a great work ethic. It will be a tough match."

"The boys are well aware that this is a side with a threat"

King returned to the Under 21s after standing in to manage the senior team for their final two World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan last month following Giovanni Trapattoni's departure.

In his absence, the under-21s’ double-header against Romania started with an encouraging 0-0 draw in Piatra Neamt, but ended with a damaging 1-0 home defeat four days later.

Ireland currently sit in fourth place with four points from as many games, eight adrift of the Germans, but only two worse off than Montenegro, who have played a game fewer, in second.

The Faroes are bottom of the group having collected just a single point from their five games to date, but King insists he is still taking the campaign one game at a time.

He said: "It's not a question of us looking to get back on winning ways. We are just looking to win the next match and then see what happens with the other three fixtures.

"It's a big task, but one we're looking forward to."

King has drafted John Egan into his squad to replace the injured Matt Doherty. Sunderland defender Egan has just resumed playing after breaking a leg during a loan spell with Bradford City 12 months ago.

Watford's Connor Smith is suspended for the game but will be available for visit to Montenegro on Tuesday.

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