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Ward Ready For Irish Dates With Destiny

13 November 2015

Stephen Ward hopes to follow in Sam Vokes’ and Tom Heaton’s footsteps as the Republic of Ireland face two dates with destiny.

Clarets defender Ward is in contention to start in tonight’s first leg of the make-or-break European qualifying play-off double header against Bosnia and Herzegovina

And with Wales and England already assured of their places at next summer’s finals in France, Ward wants to make it three’s company alongside his Turf Moor team mates.

He said: “I’m delighted for Sam and Wales and England did it a few weeks before. It’s great for the two of them and hopefully I can join them.

“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves though. Bosnia are probably similar to ourselves, but we fancy ourselves to have a right good go and the way the draw has come out, we go there first.

“That will be tough, and we’ve seen that teams can go away in the first legs and get a 0-0, then come back and concede an away goal.

“First and foremost, we have to go there and keep ourselves in the tie and give us a fighting chance at home.”

Ireland have already spurned one chance of qualifying automatically for the finals next summer, losing 2-1 in Poland in their final group game.

But after earlier beating Germany to give themselves a fighting chance, Ward is confident the Irish can summon up the spirit to come out on top following the second leg, which tale place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next Monday.

He added: “Before the last two games, we needed a result in at least one to guarantee a play off and I think if you had asked anyone we’d have taken it.

“We ended up beating Germany and went to Poland with a chance of qualifying.

“Naturally, everyone was disappointed that we didn’t get that job done there, but the most important thing was that we went there knowing a play-off spot was safely in the back

“We have this second bite of the cherry and hopefully now we can take that.”

Bosnia & Herzegovina v Republic of Ireland, Stadion Bilino polje, Zenica
Friday, 13 November 2015, 20:45 KO (local time)

Republic of Ireland v Bosnia & Herzegovina, Aviva Stadium, Dublin,
Monday, 16 November, 2015, 19:45 KO

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