Coleman: 'As professional footballers, as Irish men, we need to be better'

Coleman: 'As professional footballers, as Irish men, we need to be better'
Seamus Coleman reacts during the game. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ger McCarthy

Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman didn’t mince his words or hide his frustration following a disappointing 0-0 stalemate with Northern Ireland.

“Look, we are all disappointed and we can all do all the talking we want in there (dressing room) and we want before the game,” Coleman stated.

“The only place we can be better is out on that pitch and tonight for 90 minutes we weren’t good enough. We weren’t good enough on the ball, making angles for each other or creating chances. That’s the honest truth and our keeper was man of the match which says it all.”

Ireland have been criticised in recent internationals for failing to get the ball on the floor and making chances. Seamus Coleman was at a loss as to why this worrying trend continued against Northern Ireland.

“As professional footballers, as Irish men, we need to be better,” the Everton stalwart commented.

If you watch us in training or before the game we are getting the ball down but when we go out on the pitch we need to help each other a little bit more. We need to help the man on the ball. At the minute we are not doing that.

“As individuals and as players we all need to be better out on the pitch. We all need to analyse the game and go home and look in the mirror, asking did you get on the ball?”

Coleman’s opposing manager felt his Northern Ireland team controlled the game and would have won but for squandering numerous chances and failing to beat Ireland’s inspiring goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

“I thought we were terrific on the night and dominated the game,” Michael O’Neill commented.

"We created good chances but unfortunately didn’t take them. Darren Randolph’s had a great night as well and we have to give him some credit for that. Really pleased with our performance and I thought we deserved to win the game.

“The game plan tonight was to come and play, control the game. I think we did that from our possession, how we played out from the goalkeeper and centre-backs who were superb. Our full-backs as well.

At no point in the game did I feel that we were not in control. The Republic are always dangerous from set pieces and we had to defend a lot of longer balls as well but I thought overall, we had good control of the game and could have created even more chances.

"That would be my one criticism, in the final third, we have to be more clinical.”

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