Brady talks up Irish hopes
Liam Brady has warned France that Republic of Ireland do not fear them ahead of their play-off.
Last Updated: 27/10/09 7:05pm
Liam Brady has warned France that Republic of Ireland do not fear them ahead of their play-off tie.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men were made to suffer for Fifa's seeding system, introduced just weeks before the draw, as they were paired with the 2006 finalists for the World Cup qualifying play-offs.
It will be the first time the nations have met since 2005, when Thierry Henry scored the only goal over two games en-route to qualifying for Germany the following summer.
Despite earning a creditable 0-0 draw in Paris that campaign, Republic failed to qualify from the group, but assistant manager Brady feels perhaps it is time to settle old scores.
"It seems our two countries always have rendezvous when there is a World Cup to play," Brady told French press.
"Unfortunately for us, we have always failed, but it was very close. Maybe it is time to stop the 'tradition'."
Republic went their entire Group 8 campaign unbeaten this time around, twice drawing with world champions Italy, under the guidance of experienced Italian Trapattoni in his first campaign in charge.
Brady said: "I believe we have new organisation qualities, which directly come from our manager. Even if he is 70 years old, he has an amazing enthusiasm for the game and the preparation of the team.
"I have to say on that level I don't know anyone superior to him. He has created a system based on a perfect organisation and the morale of the group that we frankly missed before.
"I don't agree with people who say we play an Italian style of football. Our Irish culture is still present and it remains essential. We have always played with passion and it has not changed.
"Frankly, I don't care about people who consider us technically weaker than France. Football is not only a matter of individual talent and flair - there are a lot of other ingredients that makes a team."
The two-legged tie will take place on 14th and 18th November, with the first leg being played at Croke Park in Dublin, but Brady believes that will have no bearing on the outcome.
"The fact we will play our first match at home will not have such an importance. To me, it will not be an advantage for France," said the former Juventus player.
"Actually, last time Ireland got qualification for a World Cup (2002), it was after an away play-off against Iran. And I can assure you it was very heated there.
"Our performances during World Cup qualifiers and the fact we were very close to winning our group have created a trust atmosphere in our team and the whole country.
"We are not afraid of the French team. We are always at our best when we are outsiders. That is also in Irish blood. We love when people say we have no chance. That is when we are the most dangerous. We can make it."