James McClean has revealed Martin O'Neill's very specific instruction on what to do differently against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium this weekend following November's 1-0 defeat to the same opposition: “Just don't get beat.”
The 26 year old Derry man knows that this Saturday's crunch Euro 2016 clash is a must win and has called on his teammates to go all out against Gordon Strachan's side – and has dismissed as mind games the suggestion from the Scottish camp that the pressure is on Ireland heading into the fixture.
McClean believes the November defeat to the Tartan Army – Ireland's only loss in qualification to date – is the only blemish on the Boys in Green's campaign so far and wants to put that right by taking all three points from the Scots this weekend – even if it requires a stoppage time own goal to settle a cagey affair.
“We've had, bar the Scotland game, a bright start to the group and we want to build on that come Saturday,” McClean told media after Thursday's training session in Malahide. “They beat us in November and we didn't perform by no means in a tight, scrappy game – but if it's a tight, scrappy game on Saturday, hopefully we can nick this one.
“We've had our games from then so you can't dwell on it too much, but this game's coming around now, it's Scotland that's the next game and it would be nice to put November's game right – and if it's a scrappy game and it takes an OG in the last minute, so be it.”
Continue reading James McClean's pre-match thoughts on Extratime.ie.