CROATIA MANAGER SLAVEN Bilic says he prepared his side for Wednesday night’s friendly clash with the Republic of Ireland by bringing them to a Pogues concert in Zagreb.
Shane McGowan and company are a ‘world class band’ according to Bilic.
“We have done the homework – we even went to see the Pogues in Zagreb!” Bilic revealed.
“They were playing in a small open-air arena to about three or four thousand people. They are very popular – they are a world-class band.”
How a band of drunken ragamuffins, led by the irrepressible McGowan, relates to Giovanni Trapattoni’s team of Paul Greens is for only Bilic to understand but he insists he has done his homework on the Boys in Green.
“I watched Ireland’s last few games to prepare for this match and they were good in every one of them,” Bilic said in his pre-match press conference.
“They won most of them and they really impressed me. I am looking forward to tomorrow night’s game because it will be like a real qualification game.
“In history Irish teams have always been good, passionate, solid, aggressive teams but Trapattoni has turned them into an extremely well-organised side.
“That is why the last few results have not surprised me. He is really doing a great job.”