Martin O’Neill spoke ahead of the crucial World Cup Qualifier in Austria later this month.
Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle have both been named in the Republic of Ireland’s provisional 35-man squad for the upcoming away trip to Austria.
It marks a momentous occasion for the Dundalk pairing, with the international recognition of Ireland boss O’Neill a testament to just how special the League of Ireland side have been this season.
John O’Shea and James McCarthy are both named despite recent injury concerns, but strikers Shane Long and Daryl Murphy have been ruled out.
O’Neill spoke to the press about the upcoming challenge in Austria, making sure to note that his side would not be under-estimating their opposition, in spite of some poor recent performances from Marcel Koller’s team.
‘I think they underachieved at the Euros. They’re a better side than that suggested. They’ve had some difficult matches — away in Serbia is a tough place to go to get a result and they could have got something from the game.’
‘It’s hard to say in terms of position (in the group) where they should or shouldn’t be. I think by the time we get to seven or eight games, they’ll be right back in it again‘.
O’Neill was then quizzed on the unfortunate striking situation, but assured that Jon Walters is ready to step in and perform in the absence of first-choice centre-forward Shane Long.
‘When Shane went off, Jon played centre forward. It’s not an unusual position for him. He played there at Stoke. He’s played in a number of positions for us and I thought he made a marked difference for us at centre forward in the last 25 minutes of the game (against Moldova).’
The 35-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Ian Lawlor (Manchester City), Danny Rogers (Falkirk*)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (Derby County), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Paul McShane (Reading), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Andy Boyle (Dundalk), Stephen Ward (Burnley)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Preston North End*), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), James McCarthy (Everton), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), David Meyler (Hull City), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen), Daryl Horgan (Dundalk)
Forwards: Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town)
*on loan from parent club
The match kicks off at 5pm on Saturday 12th November.