Republic of Ireland under 21 boss Jim Crawford previews Iceland clash at the Cross

Republic of Ireland under 21 boss Jim Crawford says a big crowd at Turner’s Cross for their game with Iceland could be a big factor in whether or not they play European Championship qualifiers on Leeside.

The 21s play in Cork for the first time in 14 years against Iceland on March 26th, as they prepare for the European Championship Qualifying campaign which gets underway in September.

Speaking to RedFM sport this morning Crawford says that a huge crowd at the Cross could mean Qualifiers are played at the venue

“I think it’s very important for us to go down to Cork. It’s a dry run or a dress rehearsal in a sense, that if all things go well with regards preparation, and we get a really big turnout then it’s something we have to discuss at the end of the March window and discuss if we’re going to bring our home campaign [in the Euro qualifiers] to Turner’s Cross.

“There are a lot of really exciting home games to look forward to, you’ve got Turkey, Italy, Norway, huge games.”

Manchester United legend John O’Shea was part of Crawford’s backroom staff, but has since been called up to the senior set up by Stephen Kenny to become an assistant coach. Crawford says that O’Shea was a big part of his backroom team, and that his loss is certainly Kenny’s gain.

“He’ll be a huge loss, because we had a really fantastic technical staff and he’ll be a loss.

“He’ll be missed, but I’m only too delighted that he’s gone with the senior team. It shows that there’s a pathway to the senior team, not just for players but for coaches as well.

“I think he’ll be a huge asset for the senior team and I wish him all the best.”

You can hear our interview with Jim Crawford in full on the Big Red Bench this weekend – we’ll also have a family pass to give away to the game against Iceland on Sunday’s show.


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