Tuesday 28 February 2017

Fahey finds big positive in Cunningham performance

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

THE Viking raid on Shay Givens' goal that gave Norway an undeserved win at the Aviva Stadium last night left the Irish players in sombre mood.

Their only consolation was that the 2-1 defeat was in a friendly and didn't cost qualifying points -- but they know lessons need to be learned.

Birmingham's Keith Fahey summed it up, saying: "We just got caught out of position and were opened up by a long ball.

"I thought we deserved more from the game. It's always a downer when you lose, but hopefully the lads will go back to their clubs and come back in good form for the next game."

Fahey got a rare chance to play in his favourite central midfield position and a rare starting spot in Giovanni Trapattoni's line-up.

"I haven't played there for such a long time. It would be nice to get a run of games there but at the moment I'm playing mostly on the wing for Birmingham," he said.

Gained

Asked what he thought the manager would have gained from the game, Fahey commented: "He would have got a look at some players. I thought Greg Cunningham was excellent at left-back. Not much got by him.

"Shane Long did very well up front, and created a couple of chances from nothing. He won the penalty and scored it as well, so there are a few positives to take from the game."

Debutant Jon Walters came on in place of Kevin Doyle and relished the experience.

"I enjoyed playing with these players and hopefully I'll get more chances. Playing in the Premier League, every team has internationals, and I don't think it's a huge step up," Walters said.

Glenn Whelan isn't getting much game time at Stoke so the 90 minutes was particularly valuable to him. "I don't think we should have got beaten but we've given away a silly goal again -- but we were going forward to try and win it," he said.

Irish Independent

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