Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark admits sleepless nights after Republic of Ireland own goal

Republic of Ireland's Clark scores own goal

The Irishman scored an own goal in the Euros this week.

Republic of Ireland's Glenn Whelan and Ciaran Clark after the matchRepublic of Ireland's Glenn Whelan and Ciaran Clark after the match

Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark will have to be on top form tomorrow afternoon as the Republic of Ireland take on top-ranked Belgium in the European Championships in France.

He performed well for the majority of the game against Sweden in their opening game of the tournament but was unfortunate to score an own goal in the game that cost Ireland all three points.

Republic of Ireland's Clark scores own goalRepublic of Ireland's Clark scores own goal

Speaking of the opening game the Aston Villa defender has told The42 about how he has had sleepless nights over the result:

“It is one of those things. You think about it for that night, as I said I found it hard to sleep but when I woke up the next day you have to push that to one side, forget about it, concentrate on training and recovery — All the things you need to prepare yourself for the game coming up, which I feel I have done.”

Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott, Ciaran Clark, Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood and Mark BunnAston Villa's Joleon Lescott, Ciaran Clark, Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood and Mark Bunn

Of course he will also be used to some sleepless nights after his season with Aston Villa – in which the club finished bottom of the Premier League table and were relegated to the Championship.

Sweden's Sebastian Larsson celebrates after Republic of Ireland's Ciaran Clark scores an own goal and Sweden's firstSweden's Sebastian Larsson celebrates after Republic of Ireland's Ciaran Clark scores an own goal and Sweden's first

Clark will also know he has strong competition for a starting place for Martin O’Neill’s side – with Blackburn Rovers’ in form Shane Duffy and Derby County stalwart Richard Keogh also pushing for first-team selection for the Irish.

Clark will be hoping to come through tomorrow’s game unscathed after his own goal blip in the last game – as he looks to get over a poor club campaign with Villa.

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