Wednesday 13 November 2019

WATCH - Martin O'Neill in tetchy post match interview following Georgia draw

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill lost his cool with RTE interviewer Tony O’Donoghue after he was challenged over his side’s desperately disappointing display in the 1-1 draw in Georgia.

O’Neill conceded his team were well below par as they managed to grind out a draw that keeps their hopes of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup finals alive, but O’Neill reacted angrily to the probing questions from O’Donoghue.

“In the first half, it was poor,” began O’Neill. “We scored early and then sat back for long periods, but we created a lot of clean cut chances in the game and could have won it.

“That said, you are dead right, we didn’t play well enough. We are trying to improve.

“There is a lot at stake, we are playing away from home and maybe we would have been happy with a point, but we didn’t keep the ball well enough.

“There is no quick fix to it. We have to do better with the ball. We have one or two decent players who didn’t play well tonight.”

When O’Donoghue then asked O’Neill if he could put a finger on why his team under-performed, he seemed to take exception to the question.

“Why would I want to share that with you,” he asked, clearly losing some composure. “Three points are hard to get…now there’s a good point for a start.

“Do you know what we will do. We will try and win a game against Serbia, put our heart and soul into the match and try and beat a side that are probably better than us.”

The reaction on social media to O’Neill’s curiously agitated reaction during the interview was negative, yet this is not the first time he has taken exception to the media questioning his team or his tactics.

Now O’Neill needs to fire Ireland’s burners ahead of the Serbia game on Tuesday that could make or break his hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia next summer.

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