Wilshere thanks ‘respectful’ fans


Published: Monday 8th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Jack Wilshere praised both sets of fans for their “tremendous” behaviour as England made an incident-free return to the Republic of Ireland.

Sunday’s 0-0 draw at the Aviva Stadium will certainly not be remembered for the quality of football, but nor will it, thankfully, live long in the memory for issues off the field.

It was the Three Lions’ first trip to the Emerald Isle since 1995, when their friendly was abandoned after just 27 minutes due to English fans rioting – incidents it later emerged involved far-right group Combat 18.

T hose scenes led to understandable concerns of flare-ups in Dublin, although this encounter passed without incident.

England fans refrained from the inflammatory anti-IRA chanting heard all too regularly at recent games and, following in manager Roy Hodgson’s footsteps, Wilshere praised the supporters from both sides of the Irish Sea.

“I think both sets of fans were tremendous, very respectful,” the England midfielder said. “The players were respectful as well.

“I think it was just one of those overall respectful, good games. Fair play to both nations.

“It was the same against Scotland, against Wales – those big games against the home nations that want to have the bragging rights, want to be the best in Britain.

“I felt Ireland were a tough opposition. They were ready for it, we were ready for it and at the end of the day I think everybody is happy with the draw.”

It was a match Wilshere started from the outset in Dublin – his 27th England cap and first since November due to another injury-hit campaign.

However, the Arsenal midfielder is now “feeling good, feeling fresh” and wants to end the campaign with victory in next weekend’s Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia.

“It is the same feeling, the same special feeling when you pull on your shirt for your country, especially in big games like this against tough opposition,” Wilshere said.

“All the boys want to go away on their holidays and enjoy it, but before that we’ve got a big game.

“We want to go off with a win, want to go off with a good performance, want to keep the manager happy, keep the fans happy and keep our unbeaten run going.”

Before the trip to Slovenia, Wilshere has the small matter of a Football Association misconduct charge to answer.

The midfielder has until 1800 on Wednesday to respond to the charge brought after he made foul-mouthed, anti-Tottenham chants during the FA Cup victory parade.

Asked if he was disappointed with the FA charge, Wilshere told Sky Sports News: “Yeah, I was a little. But you know that is something the FA are dealing with and my club are dealing with so what will be, will be.”

Published: Monday 8th June 2015 by The News Editor

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