Ireland captain Seamus Coleman revealed manager Martin O'Neill and his coaching staff gave their faltering players a passionate half-time dressing down as they struggled to get out of first gear against Georgia.
n improved showing after the break was given a crowning glory by Coleman's thrilling run that ended with his first Ireland goal to secure a vital 1-0 win in the Group D World Cup qualifier.
Yet the Everton defender accepted his Ireland side will need to perform better if they are to mount a sustained push for World Cup qualification.
"The manager gave us a rollocking at half-time," revealed Coleman. "He just said we were nowhere near good enough, looked afraid, didn't get on the ball and he was right.
"We were nowhere near good enough in the first half and we were lucky to go in at 0-0. We were better in the second half and it was all about getting the three points.
"My goal came at a crucial time and it gave us something to hold on to. We know the performance was not good enough, but we are happy to get out of it with three points."
Coleman reflected on his first Ireland goal with pride, as the quietly spoken full-back continues to grow into his role as the new leader of the Ireland team.
"To score for your country was an amazing feeling," he added. "You grow up dreaming of playing in that green shirt and the first goal has been a long time in coming after 40 games, but I'm delighted to get it.
"I don't think I have done anything different since I became captain. I set high standards for myself and that may be why the manager made me captain."
Coleman won praise from Ireland legend Niall Quinn, as the Sky Sport pundit suggested Ireland's match-winner showed the kind of quality that was lacking from so many of his team-mates.
"The kind of drive and desire Seamus showed for his goal was missing from Ireland's performance," stated Quinn.
"He got some assistance on the goal, but he led by example and showed he was ready to do something to get us going.
"Let's be honest here, he single-handedly dug his team out of a hole in this game and may have just go them the most important goal of the group when everything is added up in the end."