John Giles: An Austrian player missing the Ireland match for his wedding is a good sign

Ireland and Leeds legend discusses Andreas Ulmer's decision

BY Raf Diallo 19:50 Thursday 8 June 2017, 19:50 8 Jun 2017

Andreas Ulmer, Red Bull Salzburg. John Walton/EMPICS Sport

John Giles feels the fact that an Austrian player has decided to miss the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Ireland as a good sign for Martin O'Neill's side.

On Sunday, the Boys in Green face an Austria side in Dublin, who are four points in arrears. Victory for Ireland would almost certainly mean Austria can be ruled out as realistic qualifiers.

The Austrian side face an injury and suspension crisis while defender Andreas Ulmer is not available to play as he gets married.

Giles told Off The Ball that the player's decision is a bad sign for Austria but an advantage of sorts for Ireland.

"The biggest thing I can find here for our advantage is Ulmer the player that's getting married," he said.

"I couldn't imagine any of the Irish players saying, 'I can't play today'. I think it shows a weakness, a lack of morale in the Austrian side.

"Apparently the manager is under pressure but that is a bad sign."

Giles added that during his playing career, players were not in a position to pull out of games for reasons like weddings.

"But I think it's a good sign for us that a player is actually... I mean you don't make arrangements to get married a week beforehand. I don't think the mood in the Austrian camp from what I saw when we played them [in November 2016] and what's happening now is good. I think the morale of the Irish team will be very, very good. But then it has been for a long time now," he said.

On the mindset for Ireland going into the Austria match, Giles said there should be no preconceived ideas and added that, "A draw is a great result when you deserve to lose".

 

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week