John O'Shea has warned the Republic of Ireland not to be blinded by Gareth Bale's superstar status.

Ireland welcome Bale and his Wales team-mates to the Aviva Stadium in Friday’s vital World Cup Group D qualifier knowing all too well the danger the Real Madrid man poses.

However, veteran defender O'Shea is equally well aware that there are other threats within the Welsh camp and that concentrating too closely on Bale alone could prove dangerous.

He said: "You have to just get on with it. When you're playing in the Premier League, whether it's against [Sergio] Aguero, [Harry] Kane, [Romelu] Lukaku, [Diego] Costa, there are top players there.

"The team has to get on with it. If you focus too much on one player, you forget about their other good players and they come to the fore.

"You respect him - obviously he's a very good player, he's playing for Real Madrid - but you forget about that and you get on with it to do your best against him."

Martin O’Neill’s men go into the game sitting two points clear at the top of Group D with 10 points from a possible 12, two better off than Serbia in second and four ahead of third-placed Wales.

However, they do so with a squad having been severely depleted by injury and suspension with Shane Duffy, Ciaran Clark, Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan, Harry Arter and Daryl Murphy  missing and doubts remaining over James McCarthy.

Gareth Bale lifts the Champions Leage trophy for Real

But Sunderland’s O'Shea, who could win his 117th cap, is confident O'Neill's under-studies will plug the gaps more than adequately.

He said: "When different players have been injured or suspended earlier on in this campaign or the previous campaign, the players have stepped up.

"That's when you talk about the atmosphere created by the manager and the coaches and players themselves. It's always positive, it's always a good feeling and there is always that respect for the player who is picked to play.

"You just want to stay in the lead when you're in the lead because if we can do that, we'll give ourselves a great chance of qualifying.

"We know that everyone wants to take a shot at you because you're the leader. We have to cope with that, but it's a nice feeling too."