Tuesday 6 December 2016

'It'll be hard for any team that's drawn against us' - Coleman

John Brennan

Published 12/10/2015 | 02:30

11 October 2015; Seamus Coleman, Republic of Ireland, in action against Grzegorz Krychowiak, Poland. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Poland v Republic of Ireland. Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
11 October 2015; Seamus Coleman, Republic of Ireland, in action against Grzegorz Krychowiak, Poland. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Poland v Republic of Ireland. Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Ireland are heading into the Euro 2016 play-offs, defiantly fearing no-one.

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That's according to Seamus Coleman who insisted the Irish team will pick themselves up and be ready for two more battles next month.

"We won't fear anyone," said the Killybegs man, when told that the likes of Croatia and Denmark could be waiting for Ireland in November.

"Not after beating the world champions last Thursday and putting up such a performance tonight against Poland in a very hostile atmosphere.

"We wanted to get the first goal of the game, that would have been huge for us, but it didn't work out that way," Coleman continued.

"We knew Poland would fall back once the finish line came in sight for them and we pressed and pressed, but the goal wouldn't come.

"Still, the spirit in that dressing-room is strong. We wanted to go straight through, but now we'll meet up again next month and go at it again."

He added that the victory over Germany was not a factor in an Irish performance that took time to get going even though the boost of Jon Walters' penalty was a huge lift after the concession of the first goal.

"It wasn't hard to park it, it proved to be a very important win for us and we were very happy that night.

"But the next morning, the focus immediately was on Poland and we're just disappointed we couldn't finish the job off.

"There's been times we might have looked as if we were out of it completely so we'll regroup again, get the fans right behind us like they were on Thursday and here.

"I'll say it again, it'll be hard for any team that's drawn against us. We're disappointed that we didn't go through automatically but the manager said we've got to keep going, and go again.

"We have a very important month coming up," added the Everton man.

"It was unfortunate timing to get injured and miss last Thursday and I hadn't a lot of game-time but the manager wanted me to meet up.

"I played through the game and hopefully that'll be that now and I'll kick on through the season and be match-fit for the next couple of games.

Asked about Lewandowski's goal, Coleman said: "That's the top players, that's why they're so good.

"He might have been quiet for a lot of the game but he popped up with a goal when they needed it.

"I wish Poland good luck in the finals, they did well but we're disappointed.

"We'll sit back and look forward to the draw on Sunday, and hopefully have a positive month next month.

"We showed in this campaign that we're never out of the game.

"At half-time, it was 'keep going and we'll get another goal'. Unfortunately, we didn't.

"The lads were fantastic on Thursday night, and away to Germany as well... that can only give you confidence.

"I thought the Aviva was the best I've heard it in a long, long time.

"The fans play a massive part, the best fans in the world, and they showed that on Thursday night.

"If we can get them behind us and make it intimidating for whatever team comes, we have a great chance.

"There's periods in the group that we'd have taken this so we have to look at the positives."

For centre-half Richard Keogh, the pain of defeat and a lost chance to go to a major finals was etched on his face as he left the Irish dressing-room

All the more so perhaps because he had the one clear-cut chance that Ireland forged in the second half .

"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

Trick

" I thought we were bit unfortunate tonight but we've got another chance in the play-offs and you can be sure that come November we'll be ready."

As for that chance. "Aidan McGeady did well with a little trick to make the space for the cross and it has just come to me, I just tried to head it down towards the goalie.

"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.

"Listen when you lose two players like that it obviously is disappointing.

"But fantastic players and bring a lot of experience to the team. But we've shown before that whoever comes in can step up."

Irish Independent

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