Tuesday 5 May 2015

We lacked real incision - Martin O'Neill

Published 03/09/2014 | 22:38

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill seemed reasonably pleased with Ireland's 2-0 win over Oman but stressed that the time for improvement was fast running out with their first competitive game in four days time.

Ireland began with a starting XI who only had a combined 19 league starts between them so far this season and their lack of first-team football showed.

"The game was important for us. Some players definitely needed it," Martin O'Neill told Setanta Sports.

"Darron Gibson was getting very, very tired. He's been with Everton all pre-season but has not played a competitive game and I think there were a number of players in the same boat and it showed.

"We had plenty of possession, played some nice stuff. We weren't able to finish it off but we won the game comfortably enough.

"There is plenty of improvement in the side but time is pressing on and we have a big game on Sunday."

3 September 2014; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, Anthony Pilkington, left, and Robbie Brady defend a corner. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Aidan McGeady, Republic of Ireland, reacts to a missed chance during the second half. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Robbie Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Abdul Salan Al Mukhaini, Oman. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Alex Pearce, 24, Republic of Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates, from left, Stephen Quinn, Aidan McGeady and Richard Keogh after scoring his side's second goal. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Alex Pearce, Republic of Ireland, second from left, is congratulated by team-mate Stephen Ward after scoring his side's second goal. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Alex Pearce, Republic of Ireland, score's his side's second goal. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Kevin Doyle, Republic of Ireland, rises highest to head his side's first goal of the game from a corner kick. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Kevin Doyle, Republic of Ireland, scores his side's first goal of the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Kevin Doyle, Republic of Ireland, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal of the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and defender Mohammed Al Musalami can only watch as Republic of Ireland's David Meyler shot comes off the post. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Robbie Brady, Republic of Ireland, in action against Ali Al Jabri, Oman. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
3 September 2014; Alex Pearce, Republic of Ireland, third from right, is congratulated by team-mates after scoring his side's second goal. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Oman, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Ireland looked an improved outfit with the 59th minute introduction of Shane Long, Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady and that pleased the Ireland boss who was enjoying only his second win in eight games in charge.

"The substitutions came on and gave us a bit more life, a bit more energy, a little bit more impact," he added.

"We were always really comfortable without that real incision."

Man-of-the-match David Meyler filled in at right-back and was impressive and said he was happy to be deployed in any position for his country.

"It's all about building for Sunday and it's a good win for that," the Hull City midfielder said.

"He wanted to give Seamus a rest and Joey O'Brien unfortunately had to drop out so he needed some cover and he said to me to go play. I'll play anywhere for him and he knows that.

"We got the win so we're delighted.

"We're very excited, it's a great opportunity to get three points on the board on Sunday. It won't be easy. Our aim is to get to France in 2016 and we need a win."

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