Staunton issues rallying cry for Republic

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The Independent Football

The Republic of Ireland manager, Steve Staunton, is adamant motivation will not be a problem ahead of his side's European Championship match with Germany.

Qualification for next summer's finals is almost out of reach, with the Republic needing to win their last three Group D games to avoid elimination. Even then they would still require the Czech Republic to not win any of their final trio of matches if they are to clinch the runner-up spot.

It is more than a long shot, so the players could be forgiven for an air of resignation in facing Germany at Dublin's Croke Park tomorrow. Yet the former Liverpool stalwart is confident his squad will raise their game against an unbeaten side that has so far dropped just two points from eight matches.

"We need to win on Saturday to keep our hopes alive, and we want to win anyway to keep our home record going," Staunton said. "If you can't get motivated to play one of the powerhouses in world football then you've a problem. You shouldn't be playing the game, so I don't think it will be a problem."

Another player has dropped out of contention, though, with Wolves striker Stephen Elliott sustaining a hamstring injury. "It's nothing too serious, but he will be out for a week or two," said Staunton, who still has doubts surrounding Andy Reid, John O'Shea and Darren Potter.

"With Andy and John we will give them as much time as we can, while Darren is coming on well," Staunton added. "At the moment, they're all a concern, but we are giving them every possible chance, and only time will tell. They've all done their own little bit of training, a little bit more than yesterday, so we will have to wait and see. There's nothing more we can do at this moment in time."

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