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Marc Wilson favours more positive Ireland approach

Updated: Monday, 09 Sep 2013 10:30 | Comments

Marc Wilson believes that an evolving squad and a lack of preparation time has hampered performance levels
Marc Wilson believes that an evolving squad and a lack of preparation time has hampered performance levels

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Marc Wilson has urged the Republic of Ireland to abandon the long-ball approach in a desperate bid to revive their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side launched an aerial blitz which paid early dividends against Sweden on Friday evening as they roared into a 22nd-minute lead at the Aviva Stadium.

However, once the Swedes got to grips with Ireland's direct style, they coped comfortably with it and, with the home side seemingly having no Plan B, overturned the deficit to win 2-1.

Ireland created little of note during the second half with full-backs Wilson and Seamus Coleman, who have provided good service in the recent past, largely absent from attacks, and that will have to change markedly if they are to secure the win they need in Austria on Tuesday night to rekindle their fading hopes.

Wilson, addressing a perception that the side’s backs are shackled to defensive duties, said: "Of course I am allowed to go forward. I don't think we get in enough positions to get ourselves forward.

"I think we need to play through the middle a bit more and pass the ball to create chances for us to go forward more."

It proved a difficult evening for £13million Everton new boy James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan as the ball repeatedly sailed over their heads, and neither was able to make a telling impact.

When it was suggested to Wilson that the long ball did not help, he said: "No, it doesn't.

"The more games the lads get...but we are training with new faces. There are new faces coming in every day and we haven't had a lot of time together as a group.

"But it's still no excuse. The other night wasn't good enough."

"It's coming across as clearly as we can make out, basically" - Marc Wilson on Giovanni Trapattoni's gameplan 

Wilson insisted keeper David Forde was not under instructions to launch the ball up-field apart from perhaps in the early stages of games, although asked if in general Trapattoni's message was getting through to the players, Wilson paused.

He said: "That's a hard one to answer. It's coming across as clearly as we can make out, basically."

The 25-year-old Stoke defender revealed the mood within the camp has been understandably sombre since Friday night, although he is refusing to accept that the road to Brazil has been closed.

He said: "I don't think you can start thinking like that. Everyone had doubt in their mind, obviously, after the game. That's natural.

"But there's a small chance we can still qualify, so we have got to go with that.

"The lads were absolutely devastated after the game. First half, I thought we played all right. Second half, I don't think we played well enough to get a result from the game.

"We have just got to hold our hands up and take responsibility for that as players as well.

"We know we have got to go to Austria now and get the win."

Trapattoni's critics - and they are growing in number - often level the charge that he goes into games intent on not losing rather than trying to win, something he vehemently denies.

However, Wilson knows exactly what the mindset will have to be in Vienna.

He said: "If we are going to go to Austria and not turn up, then there's no point going at all, so we have got to go there with the frame of mind to get three points."

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