CARDIFF, Wales -- Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has called for his team to beat Wales on Monday to get injured captain Seamus Coleman to next year's World Cup finals.
Coleman had his leg broken by Wales' Neil Taylor in March's 0-0 draw between the two teams in Dublin, and in the return fixture in Cardiff, O'Neill's team needs a win to have any hope of reaching the qualifying playoffs.
"It's the World Cup and it doesn't really get much bigger than that," said O'Neill in Cardiff on Sunday. "We've put ourselves in a position where we have to win the game. I think from the way things are going, Wales will probably be in the exact same position. So all to play for, big, big game ahead."
Captain Coleman is back in Everton training and on the road to recovery but is still unavailable for club and country.
"I don't know about revenge, but certainly the view among the players is that if Russia was available to us and we could make it there, thoughts about Seamus would be very much in forefront of our minds," said O'Neill.
"He's obviously been a class player, a world-class player, and he's been essential for us. We've missed him. It would be nice to go there. He's making a good recovery now. I think that when he's ready, he will get back to the form he showed both for club and country. It would be nice that by the time he is back, he's got something to cheer on at international level."
At Euro 2016, O'Neill's team beat Italy to secure qualification for the last 16 after Robbie Brady's late strike was enough for a 1-0 victory and O'Neill called for similar spirit in Cardiff and suggested a similar approach will be employed.
"We've got 90 minutes in which to try and get a goal," said O'Neill. "I think our approach will be quite similar to the one that we had against Italy in Lille, where we knew before the game that a win was the only thing that mattered for us.
"We played with a lot of verve and determination, got out and closed Italy down very quickly, and a lot of that will be necessary tomorrow night. We created some chances and finally took one with five minutes to go in an epic game.
"It's not that far back in the memory that players shouldn't consider it when we're approaching this game. There's a bit of patience, but you can be too patient. We know at the end of the 90 minutes, we've got to find ourselves in front. I think we're capable of doing that."