Seamus Coleman eyes up the positives

And still the wait goes on for a first European Championships win since that famous day in Stuttgart.

For so long it appeared Wes Hoolahan’s majestic volley would rank alongside Ray Houghton’s header all those years ago, yet the game finished with a draw that stings like defeat.

However, the impressive performance that lasted for around 50 minutes was what the Irish players focused on in the bowels of Stade de France.

“I’m disappointed not to get all three points, but I don’t want to look at it too negatively,” said Seamus Coleman, who delivered the cross for Hoolahan’s goal.

“It’s a point on the board, which is important, and going into the next two games we’re not afraid of either of them. I thought we were very dominant. We’re a hard team to beat, and not many teams will like playing us. We’ll be looking for three points in the next couple of games.”

Coleman was disappointed in the manner of Ireland’s play after the concession of the (own) goal, admitting Martin O’Neill and the coaching staff may have some harsh words for the players in today’s post-match review.

“We probably should have seen the game out but we didn’t,” he said. ”It’s a tough one to explain, maybe [we were] trying to see the game out.

“Clarky and Josh [O’Shea] kept the big man [Ibra] quiet for large periods of the game, but unfortunately they got the goal, and maybe we sat back a little bit too much when we scored.”

O’Neill will hope he has Jon Walters to call upon for the games against Belgium and Italy. The Stoke forward, who worked hard to prove his fitness, was replaced by James McClean after just 64 minutes, with O’Neill conceding his Achilles injury continued to be a cause of “concern”.

“Training was pretty good the past couple of days, but I didn’t feel anywhere near 100% after the first minute or so,” said Walters.

“I was trying to get through it, hope it’d settle down, but it didn’t. I was struggling to sprint or jump. I got through the first half, [made] a couple of runs in the second half, and it just tightened right up. We’ll see how it settles down in the next few days.”

Walters wore a smile as he assessed the 1-1 draw. “Am I positive? You can be nothing but,” he argued.

“At 1-0 up, we had chances to win the game. We’re disappointed we conceded, but I thought especially in the first half we performed really well and we have to take the positives and move on.”

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