• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • Ciaran Clark Hopes Ireland Can Take Advantage Of Empty Serbian Stadium

Ciaran Clark Hopes Ireland Can Take Advantage Of Empty Serbian Stadium

Ciaran Clark Hopes Ireland Can Take Advantage Of Empty Serbian Stadium
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
Share this article

While Newcastle have been struggling massively as of late, there are still plenty of positives for defender Ciaran Clark to take away.

The Ireland international has gone long stretches without much football over the last number of years, but has really nailed down a place in the Newcastle team over the last 12 months or so. He has featured in 18 Premier League games this season, missing only three since early November thanks to injury.

Now he looks set to be a key player for Ireland. With John Egan injured and Shane Duffy struggling for form, Clark looks likely to play a big part in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Luxembourg.

It remains to be seen who will be selected at the back, with Mark Travers likely to make his competitive debut in goal. Seamus Coleman could also be recalled to the side after previously dropping behind Matt Doherty in the pecking order.

Speaking to the media ahead of the trip to Belgrade on Wednesday, Clark said that he is in a good place personally after playing plenty of football season.


He is also confident that whatever defence is selected will be capable of doing the job, while going on to sing the praises of captain Coleman.

I think first of all you need to be playing games at club level, that's pretty simple. That then gives you a chance when it comes to internationals.

I'm pleased that I've been playing regularly at club level now, it gives you more confidence and you get the fitness as well.

I'm in a good place at the minute personally and physically. I'm looking forward to this camp and the important games coming up...

I think a lot of the squad have played together, there are some new players to come in. Everyone is a professional, knows their job and knows what's at stake. I'm really looking forward to the game.

We will work on it as best we can and take it game by game. That's all we can do...

I've played with Seamus for years now, he has been outstanding. He's been brilliant. He has shown it at club level and international level. The quality and experience he brings is brilliant.

He has been unbelievable for a number of years and is somebody that a lot of the squad looks up to.


A good start in this campaign will be key, but a game in Serbia will provide a stern test. They are an opponent Clark knows well having featured in both of the games against the Serbs in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

One difference on this occasion will be the lack of supporters in the ground. Belgrade usually provides a notoriously hostile atmosphere for visiting teams, something that should not be an issue this time around.

Clark feels the empty ground is something that could work in Ireland's favour, although they will still come up against an immensely talented side, including his former Newcastle teammate Aleksandar Mitrović.


It's obviously going to be a tough game and a tough place to go. They're a side with a lot of quality.

You mentioned Mitrovic there, we had a good season together at Newcastle before he moved on. We know how good he is and what a threat he can be. We need to be on top of that and the other players they have because they're a real quality side.

It will be a tough game, but of we stay focused and give it everything we will have a chance...

I remember it was pretty hostile, they brought a massive crowd there.

It probably is an advantage for us at the minute going into the game and playing with no crowd. It could be different if we were to play them next season, they could have a full stadium there.

To play them at this time is probably a good thing. It's a slight advantage, but it will be a tough game. It doesn't change what goes on on the pitch.

SEE ALSO: Alan Browne 'Not Fazed' By Serbia Manager's Ireland Comments


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com