Josh Cullen on the French challenge facing the Boys in Green

Antoine Griezmann (left) and Kylian Mbappe in action in France's 4-0 home win over the Netherlands last Friday

Antoine Griezmann (left) and Kylian Mbappe in action in France's 4-0 home win over the Netherlands last Friday Credit: Aurelien Meunier/UEFA/Getty Images

Macdara Ferris reports from FAI HQ in Abbotsown

Ireland midfielder Josh Cullen says that the Boys in Green are confident of their plans to take on the World Cup runners up France on Monday night.

Cullen says Ireland will draw from the experience of matches such as those against Portugal in the last qualification campaign when Ireland drew 0-0 in Dublin and lost 2-1 away but only after two cruel late Ronaldo goals.

“I think we can take confidence from the two performances against Portugal, another top nation with world-class players,” said Cullen on the eve of the game.

“Monday night is one that is right up there in terms of stature of games that I’ve played in. We can take confidence from the games we’ve had against the so-called bigger nations over the last couple of years.

“We have to be full of belief and be confident in our own plan. We’ve planned all week for this game and back further over the last two years under the manager and the style we want to play.

“All roads are leading to this moment. It’s not going to be easy. But we know the challenge we’re in for but we’re looking forward to it. 

“The preparation we’ve had this week as a squad has been really good and we’re really clear in our heads about what we'll try to do on Monday.”

The Burnley midfielder was asked at the pre-match press conference about the quality of players that he will face including Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

“They are full of top class players playing at the elite level of the game. As those midfield battles go it is going to be a really strongly contested one and a tough one for us in there but they are the type of players you want to test yourself against.

“You respect the opponent who you are playing against, respect the strengths they have but you also analysis them and know where we can hurt them as well. It won’t be a one way street of just trying to contain them. We have our plans to try to hurt them the other way.

“I can’t give Griezmann enough compliments or speak highly enough of him. He is an unbelievable player over a number of years for club and country. I have a lot of respect for him but once kick off comes that goes out the window.

“We are there to do a job on him and the rest of the team to try and get the result. They are a great team with great players but we are in a good place ourselves and are looking forward to trying to make it a special night and pull off a special result.”