O'Dea has no Germany fears
Darren O'Dea will not fear Germany as he prepares for arguably the toughest match of his senior Republic of Ireland career to date.
The 25-year-old Toronto defender seems certain to be paired with John O'Shea at the heart of the Ireland defence for Friday night's World Cup qualifier against the Germans at the Aviva Stadium as manager Giovanni Trapattoni attempts to cope with an injury crisis.
However, the task will not faze O'Dea, who already has a 0-0 draw at Russia in Moscow on his curriculum vitae.
He said: "I relish it, I don't fear it at all. Everyone does - that's why you play football.
"You want to play against the best, you want to be in the Champions League, you want to play in the Premier League.
"Every player wants to do it because that is the best level, and this is the best it gets at international level, playing against Germany, so we will look forward to it."
O'Dea went to the Euro 2012 finals but did not kick a ball in anger as the Republic slipped out of the competition after the initial group stage without winning any of their three games.
The vastly experienced Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger lined up at the heart of Trapattoni's defence in Poland but both will be missing for the games against Germany and the Faroe Islands because of injury.
That has left O'Dea and O'Shea little time in which to forge a partnership which could prove so vital to their hopes of emerging from Friday's game with something to show for their efforts.
However, the former Celtic defender insists that the manager's insistence that every member of his squad knows their role whether they are in the starting line-up or not means he is ready to step straight into the team.
He said: "I think I have 16 caps and I don't think I have played more than three times with any central defender. It's not a big deal.
"John has a wealth of experience, he has played at the top level all his career, so it's not a problem at all.
"Any player that as been in this squad knows - a central midfielder could go in there and know what to do. It's not a big deal.
"We have not been working all week, it's been over years now, so the team knows exactly what they are doing and are well set-up, and I feel we can deal with most threats."
If O'Dea starts, he could be pitched into battle with the likes of Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Andre Schurrle as he and his team-mates attempt to shackle the side currently ranked second in the world by governing body FIFA.
The Republic struggled to get to grips with Croatia, Spain and Italy during the summer, and their task is unlikely to be any less daunting this time around.
O'Dea said: "Credit goes to the other teams, they played very well and we maybe weren't as good as we should have been.
"But the mentality of the team is still the same and very strong and there's a lot of quality in it.
"This is the best opposition by a way we have faced since the Euros, but the Euros has gone now. It's about Friday night and hopefully we can do the job.
"Germany are the closest to Spain and after that, there's a bit of a gap. But you will not come up against teams much better than Germany, and they are the teams you want to come up against and test yourselves against."
O'Dea arrived in Dublin after a gruelling trip from North America as he completed the kind of journey which has became commonplace for skipper and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane.
But he did so feeling settled and valued and as a result, raring to go.
He said: "I am at a club where I am wanted and I am a big part of it, and it's comfortable.
"It's nice when you are settled in yourself. I feel good now."
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