'We'll need to be mentally strong' - Ireland under-21 boss Noel King ahead of opening Uefa qualifier

The Young Boys in Green open their Uefa qualification campaign with an away trip to the Faroe Islands and manager Noel King is expecting a tricky tie
Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Noel King says that his side must be "mentally strong" in order to cope with the threat of the Faroe Islands in their opening Uefa Championship qualifier in Toftir this evening.

The Faroes have played two games in the qualification campaign so far, picking up a 2-2 against Romania in June and King is expecting a difficult start to the new campaign.

"The Faroes showed by drawing 2-2 against Romania in June that they're well capable of competing in this level of qualifiers," he said. "They would see us as another target and we'll need to be mentally strong to deal with that.

"It's the beginning of a new campaign and the priority is to get some points on the board. It will be a difficult task but the players are eager to get the qualifiers under way with a good start."

The Boys in Green are without a number of players, with Anthony Forde and Derrick Williams serving suspensions and Kane Ferdinand forced to withdraw through injury. However, King has taken the opportunity to call up Wycombe Wanderers defender Charles Dunne for the first time, a player who qualifies for Ireland through his Galway-born mother.

Having met up in London on Sunday, King explained that the team has been preparing well on the artificial surface and said that he had "every confidence" in his squad's ability to get a result in Toftir.

"Preparations have gone well," he added. "We assembled in London on Sunday and had a light workout on Monday after arriving in the Faroes. The tempo in today's training session was good too and all the lads are looking forward to the game.

"As we're playing the fixture on an artificial pitch, we've trained on the same surface. These pitches are a fact of life in the modern game and the players have adjusted well. I don't have any concerns about it.

"We have a few players missing through suspensions but I've every confidence in the squad I have here."

The Republic of Ireland under-21 team take on the Faroe Islands on Wednesday August 14. Kick off 19:00 BST.