Ireland’s Jon Walters is in no doubt about what he wants from tonight’s game against Northern Ireland; “I want to see a win.”
With the exception of a 2-1 defeat of the United States this summer, the last meaningful result for Martin O’Neill’s side came a little over a year ago; that 1-0 win in Cardiff somewhat tempered by the unpleasant reality of the World Cup playoffs that followed.
Not set to feature in tonight’s tie, Walters’ season has been thus far undone by a lengthy injury layoff. From participant to spectator, the Burnley man is keen for Ireland to put a difficult twelve months behind them.
“I think it breeds confidence when you win,” Walters explained on The Keith Andrews Show. “It would be a massive boost for everyone.”
Despite being such a pivotal member of the Irish set-up in recent years, Walters is not oblivious to the fact that there are problems Martin O’Neill and his management team must address.
“We’ve touched upon it, and I’ve played in it the last few years, but it’s almost like when we’re at home we play like the away team,” the 35-year-old said.
“We give the other team possession, but we’re not really like a Liverpool or Manchester City on the break where we have that pace and can go full at it.
“So, when you do surrender possession so much, it’s sometimes difficult to watch, and it’s very difficult to play in.
“I know the players will want to be getting on the ball and making things happen, you want to see chances, an exciting game, but the end result is, we need to win.”
With Robbie Brady among those returning to the fold for tonight’s game, there will be plenty of hope that Ireland can look into 2019 with some confidence.
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