John O’Shea: We should have kept the ball in the corner
JOHN O’Shea believes naivety cost Ireland all three points last night and insists we are still in the race for the the playoffs but there is no longer a margin for error.
O’Shea watched on as David Alaba’s shot flew past him and into the net two minutes into injury time to deny Ireland a crucial victory but insisted that the goal should have been avoided.
Ireland were awarded a free deep in the Austrian half in the 91st minute but no one came short to take the ball off Seamus Coleman to keep the ball in the corner and waste time.
Jonathan Walters eventually showed for it but was tamely dispossessed allowing Austria to launch the attack which led to Alaba’s shot deflecting off Sean St Ledger and into the net.
“It’s a massive learning curve for some of the lads .Obviously the goal deflects in off one of the lads, it’s unlucky,” O’Shea told RTE.
“It’s funny, if we had let the lad shoot it would probably have went straight at Fordey.
“It’s hugely frustrating but we needed to use our heads. Two minutes to go and we have a free-kick right in the corner and I was trying my best to scream at the lads to just keep it in the corner because you can run down a minute or two just winning throw-ins.
“We let them win it back and if we had have been on our two banks of four, we would have stopped the goal but one or two lads were caught out of position.
“Tiredness and lack of concentration were creeping into our play.
“From such a positive situation when we had come back into the game, the two goals we gave away tonight were unfortunate. We can do much better than that.
“We need to realise how to kill teams off at international level. We had one or two good chances to make it 3-1 and possession wise in the last 10 minutes we could have been that bit cleverer with the ball.”
The Waterford native stand-in skipper believes the performances in Stockholm and the Aviva prove Ireland can beat Sweden and Austria in September’s double-header and our hopes of advancing to Brazil 2014 have not yet evaporated.
“The bonus we can take is that we were more than capable of beating Austria and Sweden and that’s what we have to do now. Beat Sweden at home and Austria away,” he added.
“We have to make sure we are professional against Kazakhstan and the Faroes. Who knows what can happen if we do that?
“We have left ourselves with no margin for error.”