Martin O’Neill and Wes Hoolahan happy with ‘attractive’ football from Ireland

O’Neill was content with the draw against Slovakia despite injuries to Shane Long and Rob Elliot.

Martin O’Neill and Wes Hoolahan happy with ‘attractive’ football from Ireland

By Ger McCarthy

Martin O’Neill was content with the Republic of Ireland’s 2-2 draw against Slovakia even though tonight's friendly was tempered by injuries to Shane Long and Rob Elliot.

“I thought we played well in the first half of the game,” said Martin O’Neill.

“Naturally, a lot of substitutions made by both teams made it a bit of a disruptive second half. I thought there were a lot of positives and some nice attractive football. We caused them a lot of problems when we had the ball and tried to become a wee bit more compact without it.

“All told, particularly in the first half, I thought we played very well until all the substitutions in the second half.”

Man of the match Wes Hoolahan was pleased to have had so much time on the ball and quick to praise his teammate’s efforts.

“It was nice to get on the ball and playing behind two up front allowed me to find some space around the middle,” noted the Norwich City playmaker.

“Shane (Long) and James (McClean) played really well and opened up a lot of space for me. The gaffer said before the game that we should try and keep the ball a bit better, pass it more and I thought we created a lot more chances tonight.

“There are a few important months ahead of us now so it was nice to come away with a win and a draw. We will look to keep the momentum going against Holland and Belarus before heading over to France.”

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