Matt Holland in the Boot Room on Premier League Live
Matt Holland will be this week's guest in the Boot Room on Premier League Live with Sky Sports. The former Republic of Ireland midfielder will reflect on the 2002 World Cup when he scored the first goal of the tournament for the Boys in Green.
The build up to the opening group game against Cameroon was dominated by Roy Keane's departure so Matt tells us how it was tough to lose such an important player so close to the start of the tournament but the show had to go on. He also admitted it just put even more pressure on manager Mick McCarthy to get a result against Cameroon.
Matt was coming off the back of a disappointing end to the season with Ipswich, who were relegated from the Premier League. He didn't have much time to dwell on that as he had to meet up with the Ireland squad to prepare for the World Cup.
The Cameroon game was played in Niigata Stadium in Japan and Matt talks about the heat they had to play in so he lost almost 10 lbs during the 90 minutes. He admits that he wasn't always one for getting nervous before games but he says that wasn't the case ahead of the Cameroon match.
Here's a little taste of the interview with Matt talking about getting up early on the day of the Cameroon game:
Matt played in central midfield that day alongside Mark Kinsella and the team went in 1-0 down at half time after a goal from Patrick M'Boma six minutes before the break. As you can imagine Mick McCarthy wasn't too impressed but whatever the Ireland manager said in the dressing room did the trick because it was 1-1 seven minutes into the second half thanks to Matt:
You can hear the full interview on Premier League Live with Sky Sports this Saturday on Today FM from 2-6pm.
Matt Holland will be on the Boot Room from 5.30 after full commentary of Manchester United and Swansea from Old Trafford.
We'll also be chatting to some more former Ireland internationals between now and the end of the season.