STOKE CITY pair Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters are targeting a place at the World Cup Finals in Brazil . . . after helping the Republic of Ireland get their qualification campaign back on the right track on Tuesday evening.
Wilson marked his first competitive start for Ireland with the opening goal and then helped to set up the second for club colleague Walters as Giovanni Trapattoni’s side ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over the Faroe Islands.
It enabled them to bounce back from the bitter disappointment of suffering a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Germany.
Walters, who was part of the Ireland squad which went to the Euro 2012 Finals in the summer, dedicated the win to Trapattoni after coming under heavy criticism from certain quarters following the Germany defeat.
“We went on a massive unbeaten run under the gaffer before the Euros and I read the other day that we’ve only to lost to Russia and Germany in qualifiers under him,” commented the 29-year-old striker after the game.
“A lot of things are going to be said after a 6-1 defeat, but Germany are always going to be favourites and we’re really fighting for second spot in the Group – we’ve now come out here and given ourselves a fighting chance.
He added: “The Germany game was an embarrassing defeat, there is no hiding from that. But we got together as a group and we’ve shown we can bounce back well. It’s a positive step for us and now we have to look forward.”
For Wilson, his thunderous 30-yard strike capped an impressive first competitive international, and he is hoping that his eye-catching performance is enough to see him included in further squads over the coming months.
“I think at the end of the day every player wants to play for their country,” the 25-year old year old said following the Group C encounter.
“That’s the main thing that every player looks to achieve in their careers. I’ve had to wait a little while but I’ve been given my chance now. I gave it my best, and hopefully there will be many more to come.
“The result has put us back in contention again in the group, and whilst we know it will still be tough, we feel we have the quality in the squad to finish in the top two.”
Recalling his goal, he added: “I got the ball, just cut inside – I think Aiden McGeady went out left to draw the defender, and I just decided to hit it. I think it took a slight deflection, but I was just happy it went in the net.
“It was a great moment for me – one of, if not the best moment I have felt in my career so far.”