McGeady prepared for 'competitive' Euro 2016 qualifying

The Everton midfielder believes that the Boys in Green are up against Poland and Scotland to secure qualification for the European Championship in France
Aiden McGeady believes that the Republic of Ireland find themselves in a "very competitive" group for their Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Martin O'Neill's team open their qualifying campaign on Sunday September 7 away to Georgia and must also take on Gibraltar, Poland, Scotland and recently-crowned World Cup winners, Germany in their bid for qualification.

McGeady expects Joachim Low's side to "run away with" Group D and suggests that the Boys in Green have a difficult task as they rival Scotland and Poland for the second automatic qualification spot.

"It's a difficult one. I think Germany are probably going to run away with it aren't they? It's obviously between ourselves, Poland, and Scotland," McGeady told the Irish Independent.

"I suppose a lot of people's views will be clouded by the fact the top two go through. But I think back to the 2012 group, we had Russia, Slovakia. I would say this is a stronger group than that.

"Russia aren't quite Germany. Slovakia aren't as good as Poland or Scotland at the minute. So you'd hope we would be in the mix. Poland have some top players. Scotland are an up and coming team with young players. And Georgia could be tricky as well too. So it will be very competitive."

With Ireland attempting to reach the European Championship finals for the second successive time, the Everton midfielder reflected on Euro 2012 as an unhappy experience, considering that Giovanni Trapattoni's team were dumped out of the competition with three defeats to Croatia, Italy and Spain.

"You look back and it's not a happy memory because of the fact we lost every game and conceded so many goals," McGeady told the Irish Independent.

"It's great to say you played at a major finals but it would have been nice for the team to do well.

"I don't think anyone expected us to qualify, never mind get through the group stages but in terms of giving the fans something to shout about - we didn't do that."

Ireland prepare for their Euro 2016 opener against Georgia with a friendly game against Oman in Dublin on Wednesday, September 3.