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Published: 14:14 | 24/6/16

Long not interested in revenge


Revenge will not be on the minds of the Republic of Ireland players when they face France in Euro 2016 on Sunday, Shane Long has said.

The Boys In Green missed out on a place in the 2010 World Cup after Thierry Henry handled the ball inside the Irish box before setting up William Gallas' goal to give France a crucial 2-1 lead in the play-off second-leg.

Talk of revenge has dominated the build-up to Sunday's game in Lyon but Long insists the subject will not cross their minds as they prepare for the last-16 clash.

"What is that, seven years ago now? It's forgotten about," Long told reporters at the Versailles training base on Friday.

"We were obviously devastated at the time that it cost us a place at the [2010 World Cup] finals, but as I said, we don't even think about that.

"We're approaching this game. We're playing a very good French team, on French soil. It's going to be hard, but we're right up for that challenge and we're hoping that we can cause an upset.

"But when it comes to the Henry handball... it's not even in our minds."

Ireland picked up four points from the group games to progress to the knockout stages of the competition but Long knows they cannot afford to perform like they did against Italy when they face the host nation on Sunday evening.

"In two of our three group games, we played really well. Against Belgium, it just didn't click for us, for whatever reason, and they had the players to punish us - just like France have," he said.

"We need to learn from what went wrong against Belgium. It won't be easy but hopefully we can get the job done.

"You could go through the whole French team and they are all match-winners. But it's not just that - they play really well together.

"It's not going to be easy, but we will enjoy the challenge and we'll approach it in the right way."


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