We’ll be ready for any opposition, says Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman says Ireland won’t fear any opposition in next month’s Euro play-offs.

Despite missing out on automatic qualification in Warsaw last night, the Everton full-back is certain Martin O’Neill will have the side ready and able for the two-leg showdown in mid-November.

Defeat for Ireland means they could be amongst the unseeded teams in Sunday’s draw but Coleman doesn’t mind having to face the likes of Croatia or Sweden for a place at the France showpiece.

“We won’t fear anyone in the play-offs after beating the World champions Germany on Thursday,” Coleman said.

“It’ll be hard for any team that’s drawn against us. We’ll sit back and look forward to the draw, and hopefully have a positive month ahead.”

Given how Ireland’s group prospects fluctuated over the campaign, Coleman seemed relieved that they remain in contention for a second successive Euro finals.

“There’s been times we might have looked as if we were out of it completely,” he admitted. “So we’ll regroup again and take whoever we get in the draw.”

Meanwhile, Richard Keogh was last night regretting a missed chance to give Ireland a direct ticket to France.

The Derby County defender was on the end of Ireland’s sole clearcut chance to nick a 2-2 draw in the second half, only for his close-range header to be saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

Even Ireland manager Martin O’Neill rued the opportunity of not hitting the net.

“I just tried to head it down towards the goalkeeper,” explained Keogh.

“He made a decent save but I obviously should score. I should have gone to the other corner but I just wanted to make sure I hit the target.”

Keogh felt Ireland deserved to get a draw last night. He said: “It’s obviously disappointing. I thought in the second half we played very well, we faced a confident team in the first half it was a bit of an even game and they just took their chances. I thought we were bit unfortunate tonight.”

The Rams defender was keen to focus on next month’s play-off decider when Ireland get another bite of the cherry to join group rivals Germany and Poland at the finals.

Keogh is confident Ireland can cope without missing mainstays John O’Shea and Jon Walters, both out through suspension, for the first leg.”

“We’ve got another chance in the play-offs and you can be sure that come November we’ll be ready,” he said.

“When you lose two players like that it’s obviously disappointing. They’re fantastic players and bring a lot of experience to the team. But we’ve shown before that whoever comes in can step up.

“We’ll go away, dust ourselves down and get ready.”


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