Republic of Ireland international Richard Keogh has lamented his missed opportunity to score during the 2-1 defeat in Warsaw tonight.
Poland secured the second automatic spot in Group D with goals from Grzegorz Krychowiak and Robert Lewandowski.
A penalty from Jon Walters in the second half meant the visitors needed just one more goal to leapfrog the Poles, but were unable to find the back of the net for a second time, with John O’Shea seeing red late on and Walters also picking up a booking that rules the pair out of the play-off first leg.
Centre-half Richard Keogh spurned a great opportunity to equalise from an Aiden McGeady cross and admits he should have scored.
“Aiden did well, it just came to me,” he said. “I tried to head it down, the goalkeeper has made a decent save, but I should probably have scored, I should have gone for the other corner.
“I just wanted to try and hit the target, but I should have scored.”
The Derby defender doesn’t believe the visitors got their just rewards for the second half performance.
“In the second half we played well, we were the dominant team.
“I thought we were a bit unfortunate tonight but we have another chance in the play-offs, so we have to make sure come November we are ready.”
The loss of O’Shea and Walters for the play-off first-leg will be keenly felt.
“When you lose two players like that it’s disappointing. They are fantastic players. We have shown before that whoever comes into the team will step up. We’ll go away, dust ourselves down and get ready for November.”
Seamus Coleman, who made a return after missing the last four club games and the win over Germany with a hamstring injury, added that the players were walking a tight rope.
“It’s disappointing to lose so many players. There were a few of us on yellow cards tonight and you have to be careful.”
The full back made one vital intervention to prevent Lewandowski in the second half and insisted he had to prove his worth after Cyrus Christie proved an able deputy against the Germans.
“I was disappointed to miss out but I told the boss that I wanted to show up. I thought Cyrus was fantastic against Germany, so I had to come in and show my worth.”
The Donegal native said the players must dust themselves down for next month’s two-legged play-off.
“There was a period in the summer when we drew with Scotland if someone had offered us a play-off, we definitely would have taken it.
“After the performance the boys put in the other night, coming here with high confidence, we are disappointed in there.
“We saw the support the country gave us before this game, if they can give us that one more time next month, fingers crossed we can go there [European Championships]
“The manager has let us know that while he is disappointed, we have to get ready to go again and we all know that. We’re not out of this yet.”