Euro 2016: Martin O'Neill wants Republic to repeat Italy tempo against France

Martin O'Neill celebrates Robbie Brady's winning goal against Italy
Martin O'Neill says the Republic must not head out of the competition meekly

Martin O'Neill has called on his Republic of Ireland side to repeat the intensity of their win over Italy when facing France at Euro 2016 on Sunday.

The Republic won 1-0 on Wednesday to secure a match against the hosts at the Stade de Lyon in the last 16.

"I don't think you would want to head out of the competition meekly," said the Republic manager, 64.

"You want to go out blazing if you can and we want to try to stay in it because we feel we can do something."

Robbie Brady celebrates with James McClean after hitting the Republic's winner against Italy
Robbie Brady's late winner against Italy set up Sunday's game against hosts France

The Republic's midweek heroics in Lille echoed their achievement in beating world champions Germany 1-0 during the qualifying campaign.

They go into Sunday's match as underdogs once more, but O'Neill has suggested his team do not necessarily need to be defensive.

"I have spent my time in the last two-odd years here in qualification sending out what I would consider adventurous teams to win games," the manager said.

"We played a very adventurous game against Sweden. We weren't allowed to play well against Belgium and that can happen because they are a top-class side.

"In the game against Italy, we knew we needed some extra energy in the team.

"We have some older players playing, certainly in their 30s, so we had to get that energy into the side, which we did - and not only did we have that energy, we played brilliantly in the match, so we have those things to look forward to."

Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, James McClean and Daryl Murphy were all drafted into the team to impressive effect against the Italians and O'Neill must decide whether to tinker with his starting line-up once more.

The Republic's preparations for the Lyon contest has included regular penalties practice, with a view to a possible shootout.

"We have practised the penalties pretty well consistently, replicating that on the training ground where all players want to take the penalties - all of them, including the goalkeepers," added O'Neill.

"I wonder what it will be like if we do get to a shootout? That might be slightly different.

"If we go get to penalties, there are at least three players I know who won't take them - who haven't been able to hit the target too often. I shall not name them."

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