Gibraltar take on a buoyant Republic of Ireland side tomorrow at the Aviva Stadium, the red and white’s third match in Group D of UEFA’s Euro 2020 Qualifiers.
The ‘Boys in Green’ as they are affectionally known by their loyal supporters appear to have been revitalised by their under their new management team of Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor. Irish legend Robbie Keane has is also a key part of the backroom staff that has so far seen them win two of their first three Group D Qualifiers and come back from one down to secure a vital point away from home, in Denmark, on Friday, thanks to Shane Duffy’s towering 85thminute header from an Alan Judge free kick.
Gibraltar trained this morning, at the Avivia stadium with a fully fit squad following Friday’s 3-0 defeat to Georgia in Tbilisi.
Looking ahead to tomorrows Qualifier, Gibraltar Head Coach Julio Ribas, speaking to the media at the Aviva Stadium this morning, was under no illusions about the task faced by his Gibraltar warriors (as he affectionately refers to his players) :
“I saw Ireland’s game against Denmark, (in the modern game we all have the technology available to see each of our opponents), and it was a great result for them. Two top teams playing in a hard fought game. We are very aware of Ireland’s threats at set pieces but they have many other strengths too. They are a top side as their status in the FIFA World Rankings proves.
For us it’s all about continuing our development and growth as a team. We have a very young squad, with an average age of about 23.5. If we can do this, stick to our game plan and then take the our opportunities to express ourselves when we can then anything is possible"
Gibraltar last stepped out at the Aviva Stadium in the autumn of 2014, in what was the National Teams first ever competitive fixture away from home. Gibraltar will be looking to show that how far they have come as a team in the best part of five years since.