Aiden McGeady believes that Ireland have better players than their Euro 2016 rivals Scotland, but sit behind them in the Group D table because of an inability to bring training ground form to the pitch.
McGeady is desperate to register a win against the Scots on Saturday week after being on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse from the home crowd during November's costly defeat in his native Glasgow.
What really irked the 29-year-old was the manner in which Martin O'Neill's side failed to perform against a functioning Scottish unit that showed more composure on the night.
"I'm looking at our team against Scotland and I'm thinking we have got the better players. I think anyway. But they looked the better team," admitted McGeady yesterday.
"They looked more comfortable in possession. They looked like they knew what they were doing."
The Everton winger, who is keen to build his match fitness by lining out against England this Sunday, thinks that Ireland have the quality in their ranks to produce a much better standard of performance.
"We just have to play the way we can, the way we play in training," he said. "It doesn't always work like that. All the lads get the ball down and play football in training. When it comes to the game, certain games we have done it and certain games we haven't.
"Like the Scotland game, we couldn't do it. We actually only really came into it when we started going a bit more direct in the second half."
McGeady also hinted that the Scots had anticipated Ireland's strategy on the night, an observation which might raise eyebrows, yet he ultimately put the struggles down to poor individual performances.
"They probably knew which way we were going to play and their formation helped them to get the win," he continued. "But I don't think anyone in our team could give themselves pass marks from that game.
"Scotland probably knew which way we were going to play and their formation helped them to get the win, the way they set out their team.
"It was a game I wasn't really looking forward to because I knew I would get stick. It would have been great if we'd won. So, obviously, this game coming up is one I want to win."