AFC Bournemouth’s Harry Arter helped the Republic of Ireland to victory against Austria on Saturday, a team which the midfielder described as “one of the favourites.”
The world cup qualifier saw Arter make his competitive international debut as he replaced the injured James McCarthy in the starting 11 and in doing so, committed to playing for Ireland after previously being linked with switching his allegiances to England.
Positive result for Ireland
A 1-0 victory saw Martin O’Neill’s side go top of Group D and six points above Austria, as their unbeaten qualifying campaign continued. Harry Arter was impressed at the result given Ireland’s “very poor record” in Austria and said “it was good to get a positive result.”
In a group with Wales, Serbia and Austria, Ireland were expected to have their work cut out but have so far proven themselves to be the team to beat in Group D as their quest to qualify for Russia showed no signs of slowing.
Austria boast the likes of Bayern Munich defender David Alaba and Premier League winner Christian Fuchs however failed to make it past the group stages of this summer’s European Championships.
Despite their underperformance in the competition, Arter still believes that the quality they possess makes them “one of the favourites” in their qualifying group but believes his team’s victory puts Austria “in a lot of trouble for the rest of the qualifying campaign.”
Arter also believed that Ireland’s most recent three points “backed up a few good results before the game” and that a third successive qualifying win meant “everything is looking good at the moment.”
Ireland’s next qualifier isn’t until next year, when they will play a tricky home tie against Chris Coleman’s Wales, a game Harry Arter will hope to keep his place for.