Richard Dunne on why he doesn't fear Austria and Wales from an Ireland perspective

Ex-Boys in Green defender chats to Kevin Kilbane

Richard Dunne, Ireland

Richard Dunne ©INPHO/James Crombie

Richard Dunne believes Ireland on their day can be a better side than Wales and the other 2018 World Cup qualification group rivals. 

The former Ireland defender joined Off The Ball and former team-mate Kevin Kilbane to look ahead to the game against Austria on Saturday and he feels a draw in Vienna, an away draw against Wales added to the point gained in Serbia, qualification can be managed given how even things are between the four favourites.

"The results are better than the other sides at the moment and that's the important thing," he said.

"And even if it is Wales, who everyone says are amazing because of what they've done in the Euros, on their day Ireland are still a better side than them if they perform up to their level. I think we can beat them and I think likewise with Austria. If we perform well, we can certainly beat them at home and a draw in a place like [Vienna] is a good result."  

Dunne backed Harry Arter to start the match in Vienna with injury fortunately not affecting him for a competitive match for the first time in a while as his form for Bournemouth leads to excitement.

"Harry Arter's been magnificent. He's probably, without playing for Ireland, Ireland's best midfielder at the moment so he's someone who's got that fight and spirit about him on the pitch. He'll be a great addition to the side if they can get him playing on a regular basis."

Dunne also backed Dundalk centre-back and new Ireland call-up Andy Boyle to be able make it in the Premier League because of his consistency and ability to defend with minimal fuss which is a good trait for a defender.

"I think he's got a very good chance of going and playing in the Premier League and it's what I say about centre-halves that aren't really noticed," he said.