Sunday 15 September 2019

Angry and frustrated Coleman says below-par Ireland players must bounce back in Aarhus

Seamus Coleman. Photo: Sportsfile
Seamus Coleman. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has admitted that he is both hurt and angry by the team's run of form but stressed that actions - and not words - are what matter now.

Coleman says that Martin O'Neill's side are struggling to translate training ground work to matches and again pointed to an absence of bravery as the source of their problems.

He has called on underperforming players to reflect on their failings and channel their frustration in the right way against Denmark on Monday.

"It hurts, it hurts massively," said Coleman, when asked about how Northern Ireland had controlled spells of Thursday's scoreless draw at the Aviva Stadium. "And they (Northern Ireland) weren't in a good moment coming into the game.

"We have to look in the mirror. I have to come out and do these interviews and try to say the right things but the only place it can be put right is on the pitch and we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and try to put in a performance against Denmark."

Ireland were booed after the drab affair, the third home match in a row where they fired blanks.

"(I feel) A bit of everything," said the 30-year-old, when asked about his feelings. "Disappointed. A little bit angry as we all are. We have got to man up to the situation. We have to take criticism and rightly so, we have not been good enough but the only way we can turn it around is by sticking together and showing what kind of character we have.

"It's hard to put your finger on it. We are going out there trying to do the right things. I think there is going to be times in a game where the other team have possession but when we have possession we have to be better. When our centre-halves have the ball, we can't just expect them to kick it long. They are not told to kick it long.

"I am not pointing at the centre-halves here, I am pointing at all of us. We have to make options for them. We are doing that in training and we have to do that on the pitch."

Seán Maguire (hamstring), John Egan (calf) and Alan Browne (shoulder) are all out of the Denmark game with a fresh setback for Maguire a real concern. Hearts centre-half Jimmy Dunne - the subject of recent interest from Northern Ireland - has been called in. Manchester United teenager Lee O'Connor, a versatile defender who was invited in to train over the past week, will make the journey to Aarhus.

Irish Independent

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