Friday 25 May 2018

O'Neill: we deserved a point, without question

Martin O'Neill. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Martin O'Neill. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Martin O'Neill praised the character that his side showed in salvaging a 2-2 draw in Serbia last night.

The Ireland boss dismissed the notion that his side were sloppy in possession and were lucky to leave Belgrade with a draw as he instead focused on the positives.

"The pitch cut up amazingly, very, very quickly and it became rather boggy but you knew that they were going to come into the game in the second half," he said. "They did so but we've roared back after we conceded the penalty. We deserved a point, without question.

"It's very, very difficult when you're playing away from home against Serbia. These boys play in big, big leagues. We've gone in not expecting to control the game for 90 minutes away from home against Serbia. That's lunacy. We fought back magnificently.

"We got a point and we're off the mark. The players were brilliant and showed the sort of courage that they have shown in the last couple of years. I'm delighted with them.

"It's a great point. It's a great point, it's a great point, this early on in the competition.

"France is gone. That is out of the way and we've beaten Italy in France. We beat Germany to get to France. I don't know what else you are expecting.

O'Neill was also delighted with Murphy who scored his first international goal on what was his 22nd Ireland appearance.

"It's nice for him. He's had a big boost at club level. He's had a glorious move up to Newcastle He's fit and he's come in and steamed into that and gets a great goal for us and for him as well."

Irish Independent

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