Monday 23 October 2017

'Disappointed' O'Shea remaining upbeat

Ireland captain John O'Shea walks off the pitch at the end of the game
Ireland captain John O'Shea walks off the pitch at the end of the game
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

It was left to John O'Shea to try and take the positives from Ireland's disappointing draw with Scotland and although he hasn't given up hope of qualifying for next Summer's European Championships, the veteran defender knows that Ireland face an uphill task.

O'Shea rued Ireland's missed opportunities and admitted that there is no margin for error in September when they take on Gibraltar and Georgia.

"It's very disappointing but look, we had good opportunities then straight away to bounce back, to get back into the lead," he conceded.

"We put in some great crosses from good positions coming in, putting on a lot of pressure for the winner but it didn't come and we go into our next two games now knowing that getting six points is crucial.

"It felt like a defeat to be honest. It's so frustrating that they're saying that maybe our goal might have been a touch offside as well but I thought we totally controlled the first half so to have the goal, to be so positive but then concede a nothing goal is very frustrating.

"We're still well in it but obviously we've made things harder for ourselves," the Waterford native added.

Having beaten Ireland in Glasgow last November, Scotland were understandably happy to play for a point but O'Shea bemoaned the fact that his side were unable to break down their rigid defence.

"When a back four or back five is in position and balls are being put in it's up to us to put in a better pass or a better cross rather than what might look like a good ball," he maintained.

"If we'd taken a bit more time in terms putting good balls in but at times we were just putting it in instead of getting our heads up and looking at where we were actually putting it and maybe sometimes there was a pass on instead but that's something we can improve on.

"When teams are set, their back four are generally in a good position to get it away.

"The intensity at the start of the second half needed to be that bit sharper like it had been all through the game and we let them back into it.

"More than likely we're going to need something like that (Scotland slipping up in Georgia) now but ultimately we need to get the six points from our next two games."

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