'We will be going out to try to win the game' - Ireland defender Ciaran Clark ahead of Sweden clash

The Aston Villa centre back has vowed that the Boys in Green will be set up to win the World Cup qualifier against Sweden on Friday, March 22
Ciaran Clark says that the Republic of Ireland won't play for a draw against Sweden in Friday night's World Cup qualifier.

The Boys in Green currently lie in third spot in Group C, a point behind Erik Hamren's side, and two ahead of next Tuesday's opponents, Austria.

Over the last four years, Ireland's best away performances - in Italy, France, Macedonia and Estonia - have come via a more attacking game-plan and Clark says they will look for three points against the Swedes.

"We will be going out to try to win the game. No one really wants to play games just to go for the draw, we all want to win the game," Clark told reporters. "That's what we are about. We would rather play for the win and that's what we will do.

"When you go out there, each game is different and different things happen. You can't really control how it is going to happen.

"In the game, if you have got the freedom and you are attacking and playing with more freedom, you are probably more likely to go and get the win. Hopefully, we can do that. Three points would be nice."

The Aston Villa stand-in captain has started the last two friendly games, against Greece and Poland, alongside John O'Shea in central defence. Now manager Giovanni Trapattoni has to decide whether or not to recall Sean St Ledger, who has just returned from a five-month lay-off with a hamstring injury.

The 28-year-old Leicester City defender has been a Trap favourite since making his debut in 2009, and has scored three times in 32 appearances.

Asked if he had shown enough form in the last two games to secure a starting place in Stockholm, Clark said: "I would like to think so. You can only do what's been asked. To get the clean sheet [against Poland] was obviously good for us in the last game, and especially to get the win.

"I think [John O'Shea and I] have shown in the last couple of games that we work quite well together.

"No matter who plays, the lads have got a strong bond. We all know how each other plays and when you have got that, it makes it a lot easier."

If the former England under-19 and 20 captain does get the nod, the hardest task of the night will be to eliminate the threat of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, scorer of four goals when England visited the Friends Arena in November.

Asked what's the trick to stopping the PSG forward, Clark replied: "I don't know, to be honest. We are going to work on it in the next few days in training and hopefully we can do enough to do it.

"It's a team of 11 players, it's not just a one-man team. They have got some top-class players, they are all going to be well up for the game and we need to keep an eye on everyone, not just one man"