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The Fulham defender says that the Boys in Green must put their Euro agony behind them and focus on qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Fulham defender Stephen Kelly believes that the Republic of Ireland must forget their Euro 2012 woes and invest their focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.

Giovanni Trapattoni's Boys in Green kick off their qualification pursuit with an away tie against Kazakhstan on September 7 and Kelly is hoping that the team can get off to a strong start.

“We were disappointed by what happened at the Euros," said the 28-year-old. "As a team, we kind of underperformed because we went there with high expectations. We tried our hardest, but it just didn’t happen for us.

He continued: “We have to move on - our focus has to be the World Cup now. As a team we can make amends by doing well and qualifying for Rio 2014. It’s important that we get there and perform on the big stage.

“Ireland has been drawn in a tough group, but we have faith in what we can do," stressed the defender. "The journey starts with a trip to Kazakhstan – so hopefully we can get off to the best possible start.

After their opening qualifying game against Kazakhstan, Ireland will then play Oman in a friendly international at Craven Cottage - the home ground of Kelly's club Fulham and the defender is looking forward to the game.

He said: “We then return to face Oman in a friendly at Craven Cottage, which for obvious reasons will be a great experience personally. I love pulling on the green shirt, and to do that at Fulham’s home ground will make for a special night.

“As ever, I’m sure our fans will show their support and they will be behind us once more. Let’s hope we can give them something to celebrate," concluded the defender.

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