Andrews out for revenge
KEITH Andrews is a man on a mission.
Two years ago, the Ipswich Town midfielder was part of the Republic of Ireland side cruelly denied a World Cup place by the hand of Thierry Henry.
Now the midfielder and his Irish team mates have a chance to partly avenge that heartbreaking exit – starting in tonight’s first leg play-off against Estonia.
Andrews said: “That was the worst moment in my football career, without a doubt.
“It took a lot out of all of us, both me and as a group. But we have regrouped and come back strong.”
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Henry incurred the wrath of the country, and the footballing world in general, when he set up William Gallas’ crucial extra-time decider with his hand.
Now Andrews and his team mates will use that moment to inspire them over the next crucial few days.
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“We were unlucky against France and things went against us in the match,” he recalled.
“In this campaign, we have thoroughly deserved to have gone through in what was a tough group.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the top spot but we managed to get in the play-offs and we will be doing all we can to get through.
“They are big games – games you want to be involved in. I have been there before and lost a play-off. We want to enjoy it but it is all about getting through and getting into that European Championships.”
Andrews, who has shaken off a minor niggle and a bout of flu in the last two weeks, is expected to line up for the Republic in the centre of midfield for tonight’s match in Estonia (7.45pm ko).
The second leg will be held in Dublin on Tuesday night.