SportSoccer

Martin O'Neill: I didn't enjoy Euro 2016 draw

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
O'Neill posed with the European Championships trophy ahead of the draw
O'Neill posed with the European Championships trophy ahead of the draw

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill admitted his team could not have been handed a tougher task as they were draw against Belgium, Italy at Sweden at next summer's Euro 2016 finals.

Ireland needed plenty of luck to get a good draw as they were among the bottom seeds, but they have been handed a trio of high profile rivals that left O'Neill to offer up this reaction.

"It couldn’t get tougher," stated the Ireland boss.

"Italy should be in Pot 1, they have not dropped down the rankings that much. Difficult games to look forward for the fans but it could not be tougher for us.

"Sweden is a game to look forward to, so let’s go for it. Sweden are not a one man team, they were quite strong in qualifying but Ibrahimovic is a top class player.

"I thought I was going to enjoy the draw, I’m not sure I have done. Now we can take time out to study opposition players so that by the time of the games we know everything about them. There is no reason why we shouldn’t.

"About 90 minutes ago I would have said we were delighted to be here, now I’m not so sure! Our support will be fantastic, and this is great for them."

This is Ireland's schedule for Euro 2016 next summer:

Sweden (Stade de France, Saint Denis) - June 13th, 5pm kick-off

Belgium (Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux) - June 18th, 2pm kick-off

Italy (Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lillle) - June 22nd, 8pm kick-off

Revised Euro 2016 odds: 

France 10/3

Germany 10/3

Spain 11/2

Belgium 11/1

Portugal 14/1

England 14/1 

Italy 14/1

Sweden 66/1

Republic of Ireland 100/1

Northern Ireland 300/1