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Republic aiming to erase play-off agony

Republic aiming to erase play-off agony
Republic aiming to erase play-off agony
Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark were in the Republic side beaten 5-1 by Denmark in the second leg of the World Cup play-off
Uefa Nations League: Wales v Republic of Ireland
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Thursday, 6 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Ciaran Clark says the Republic of Ireland's players were devastated to be watching at home while the World Cup finals were taking place.

The Irish play Wales on Thursday in the Nations League in a first competitive match since losing to Denmark in the play-off for a place in Russia 2018.

"The lads were watching the World Cup, deep down devastated that we weren't there," said Newcastle defender Clark.

"We want to have a good campaign now and reach a major tournament."

The Republic had sealed their play-off place last October with a 1-0 victory away to Wales.

Nations League: The back-door route to Euro 2020?

Martin O'Neill's squad will head to Wales without two men who might have played significant roles.

Young West Ham defender Declan Rice is taking time to consider a possible switch to England, while Cardiff midfielder Harry Arter withdrew from the squad because of a difference of opinion with assistant manager Roy Keane.

They were the main talking points as the squad assembled in Dublin on Monday, but Clark insisted the rest of the squad had to ignore the off-pitch issues.

"It is down to Declan, that's a decision that he's going to have to make himself, and the same with Harry.

"That's up to the individuals to sort out their situations and for us, our situation is to concentrate on training and work hard in training to try to win the games.

"That's it, it's pretty simple."

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