Sheffield United: Why John Egan has no fear despite facing biggest test of season so far
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Sheffield United defender John Egan has warned Kylian Mbappe and Co. that the Republic of Ireland have no fear over facing them in their latest European Championship qualifier on Monday evening.
Stephen Kenny’s men go into the Aviva clash on the back of victory over Latvia earlier this week, with Egan expected to be involved again after coming off the bench just after the hour mark in his side’s 3-2 win.
Facing a France side only beaten on penalties in the World Cup final a few months ago will represent a different challenge - but not one that the Blades’ vice-captain is shying away from.
“As players, as a squad, we’ve a lot of belief in ourselves,” Egan said. “It’s no secret who we’re coming up against. That’s just a fact. We’ve played some big teams in the past and done really well. We don’t fear anyone. We’re Irish.
“We’re playing at home in front of our fans. We’ve all seen big nights in the past in Dublin – and we want to go out there and give 100 per cent, get results. Monday night is probably the biggest test we’ve faced so far as a group. We’re really looking forward to going out there, giving our all, get a positive result to start the campaign.
“It could give us huge confidence. We’re at the start of a campaign and we want to start it on the right note. We all have the belief in each other that when we get it right, you know we’ve done really well against the big teams – and we want to go and take that next step and get the win.
“I treat every international as big. There is obviously a huge buzz around the place for this game, considering the calibre of opposition that we are playing.
“I suppose for us to be playing the beaten World Cup finalists on penalties, there are not many teams around that have proven to be better than them.
“So we want to test ourselves against the best. We know it’s going to be a tough game, but we have full belief in ourselves to go out and get a positive result on Monday night.”
For United, they will be hoping that Egan comes through will no ill-effects ahead of the Championship resumption next weekend, away at Norwich City. The Blades travel to Norfolk second in the table and three points clear of Middlesbrough, albeit with a game in hand over their nearest promotion challengers.