Comments after Gibraltar game
As expected, Ireland had a very comfortable evening yesterday, seeing off UEFA new boys Gibraltar, in what has become our second highest winning margin.
Speaking after the game Martin O’Neil sounded satisfied but worried about defensive frailties that were again evident.
“It was a reasonably comfortable evening for us, but in the last 20 minutes, we got rather sloppy and could have conceded a goal, which would have been really irritating.”
O’Neill singled out Wes Hoolahan for praise in his post match comments. Hoolahan took his chance to impress and will now feel confident of starting Tuesday nights massive match in Gelsenkirchen. The Norwich man stated, “I was heavily involved in some of the goals, so that was nice and getting a goal was an added bonus.It’s a big game Tuesday and we’re looking forward to that.”
Robbie Keane brought his international scoring record to an impressive 65, making him the 14th highest scoring international player in history. Despite this Keane is very aware that his place in by no means guaranteed for Tuesdays crunch game. “Everyone wants to play, there’s no question, but the manager has to pick what’s right for the team,” Keane said last night.
“If it’s right for the team, regardless of if I’m playing or not, I don’t really care. As long as we get a result, I couldn’t care less.
Speaking after the game, Gibraltar manager Allen Bula, who surprisingly stated in February that he felt Gibraltar could reach the playoffs, was very downbeat. “Obviously we are disappointed with the result, but we have got to take the positives with us. We made mistakes, but we are learning. To be down 5-0, 6-0 and then start really pushing hard and my players made Ireland start defending deep, it’s a positive I can take forward.
“We have said from day one that we are not going to park the bus, and it’s not just words, we have actually shown it in every single match. That’s not the way we play.”
Ireland now move on to the most difficult task of the group, away to a wounded Germany who suffered their first ever defeat to neighbours Poland.