Sunday 25 September 2016

'We're still a million miles from qualification' - Jonathan Walters

Barry Lennon

Published 07/09/2015 | 22:50

Jonathan Walters of the Republic of Ireland (14) celebrates with Shane Long (9) as he scores their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia
Jonathan Walters of the Republic of Ireland (14) celebrates with Shane Long (9) as he scores their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Georgia
Republic of Ireland players celebrate their winning goal during the Euro 2016 qualifying Group D match against Georgia at Aviva Stadium last night
Jonathan Walters celebrates after scoring the first goal for Republic of Ireland
Jon Walters, hidden, Republic of Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates after scoring his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Jon Walters, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mate James McCarthy after scoring his side's winning goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill celebrates on the final whistle. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Referee Ovidiu Hategan. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; John O'Shea, Republic of Ireland, in action against Valeri Kazaishvili, Georgia. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Georgia manager Kakhaber Tskhadadze. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Jon Walters, Republic of Ireland, turns to celebrate after scoring his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Republic of Ireland players celebrate their side's first goal, scored by Jon Walters. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill reacts after his team missed a goal opportunity. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Jon Walters, Republic of Ireland, is congratulated by team-mate Wes Hoolihan, left, after scoring his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Jon Walters, Republic of Ireland, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; James McCarthy, Republic of Ireland, celebrates after team mate Jon Walters scores his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Jon Walters, hidden, Republic of Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates after scoring his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; Jon Walters, Republic of Ireland, turns to celebrate after scoring his side's first goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 September 2015; A Republic of Ireland supporter celebrates a goal by Jon Walters. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Republic of Ireland v Georgia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Jon Walters scores the first goal of the game
Robbie Keane is at full stretch as he fires an effort on the Georgia goal a during last night’s Euro 2016 qualifier

JONATHAN Walters believes that Ireland are still a million miles away from European qualification, after taking a full six points from the past week.

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Man of the match Walters and the team benefited from Scotland's slip-up against the Georgians on Friday night but knew their opponents tonight wouldn't be push overs.

"We knew it was going to be very tough. We needed the six points out of the two games and we got there in the end," he said.

"We're still a million miles away from qualifying. We got two big games we'll take that in our stride hopefully.

"Fair play to Jeff (Hendrick) making the goal. Jeff's got that quality, trust me. He'll go to the very top, I'm sure. Before the game we were a bit off it.

"But this win gives the whole country a lift. However, we have got two big games coming this week.

Meanwhile, Ireland boss Martin O'Neill acknowledged that Ireland's first half performance wasn't fully up to scratch.

"We didn't play well at during the first half. We were very tentative. You might even say nervous. Having had a great result on Friday that should have been the last thing that entered our heads," he said.

"But there was really no cohesion. However,  we had a great turn around. We can't forget, it was always in our hands. It means we've to win games.

"The Germany win helps It's not saying that anyone does favours. We have to fight for every single particle that's going. We still have to find some more points."

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