Wes Hoolahan
O'Neill warns his Ireland side over 'wounded animal' Belgium
Wes Hoolahan

O'Neill warns his Ireland side over 'wounded animal' Belgium

Published Jun. 16, 2016 6:16 a.m. ET

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has warned his side to be prepared for a backlash when they take on Belgium in their Euro 2016 match in Bordeaux on Saturday.

Belgium, who were No. 1 in the FIFA rankings for the first three months of 2016, suffered a 2-0 loss to Italy in their first group game of Euro 2016, and are bottom of Group E.

In contrast, a spirited Republic of Ireland side opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Sweden, but O'Neil has called for caution amongst his squad ahead of the Belgium game.

"Belgium are a really fine side, really fine," O'Neill told reporters.


"Individually, they are as talented as any side in the competition. They are very dangerous anyway, but even more so now they are a bit of a wounded animal."

"They will cause us problems so we have to show the same spirit and determination again and try and play as strongly with the ball as we did the other night."

"I think overall they have the players [to hurt us]. If they are disappointed themselves with not playing well against Italy, they will feel they can rectify it."

O'Neil is unlikely to change his starting 11 for the clash against Marc Wilmots' side, with Ireland's goalscorer Wes Hoolahan expected to continue in midfield.

Ireland will conclude their group stage campaign against Italy on June 22.


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