Moldova display catalyst to imessive club form - Callum O'Dowda

Republic of Ireland winger Steven O'Dowda feels his recent club form has been attributed to his showing against Moldova last month. The 22-year-old was brought into the starting lineup in a must-win game with both Robbie Brady and James McClean suspended.

O'Dowda was one of the standout performers during the game in which Daryl Murphy took the plaudits for his brace in the first-half. Ireland have since secured a place in the World Cup playoffs against Denmark in November after grabbing a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wales to clinch second spot in their group.

In a report covered by the Irish Independent, O'Dowda credits the match for his upturn in form which saw him score his first competitive goal for Bristol City, he said: "Since that game I’ve had a lot of praise from the management both for club and country. In the last few games I’ve made a real impact with goals and assists. And that’s what I want to be doing. As soon as I got back to club level, I felt bigger, stronger. That’s what I wanted to do, make a real impact in the Championship. That’s what confidence does. You’re not afraid to do stuff. The safe option is there but it’s (about) taking a few risks and not caring if it doesn’t come off."

O'Dowda is unlikely to start in the first leg of the World Cup playoff versus Denmark, but O'Neill is assured of having a player on the bench who is capable of making a difference with his pace and power. The Irish have had to do it the hard way through playoffs to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2012 and Euro 2016, and they now have the chance of reading the global showpiece in Russia next year, although Denmark stand in their way.

The Danes are blessed with Premier League stars in the form of Christian Eriksen and Andreas Christensen, who have played significant in the attacking and defensive positions respectively, but the latter could be the one to watch for owing to his potential to win games by his own.