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'I kept going over it in my head' - Ciaran Clark had a sleepless night after his Euro 2016 own goal

The central defender was unlucky enough to head a Zlatan Ibrahimovic cross into his own next on Monday evening.

Clark puts the ball into his own net.
Clark puts the ball into his own net.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

- Ben Blake reports from Versailles

CIARAN CLARK CAN be proud of how he performed in Ireland’s Euro 2016 draw with Sweden.

Alongside captain John O’Shea at the centre of defence, the 26-year-old put in a commanding display and, for the most part, kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Berg and substitute John Guidetti quiet.

With 71 minutes on the clock, however, Aston Villa defender Clark threw his head at Ibrahimovic’s dangerous cross into the box with Seb Larsson loitering, and wound up putting the ball into his own net.

Clark admits going over the incident countless times in his head but says he is eager to put it behind him and look forward to Saturday’s game against Belgium.

“It’s never nice to be the one the ball comes off and goes in,” Clark said today. “We were quite comfortable in the game. I don’t think we deserved to come away with a draw, I think we deserved to come away with all three.

I found it hard to sleep after the game, I kept going over it in my head. The next day you have to wake up, try and put that to one side and focus on the next game. Which is what I have done.

“It is one of those things. You think about it for that night, as I said I found it hard to sleep but when I woke up the next day you have to push that to one side, forget about it, concentrate on training and recovery — All the things you need to prepare yourself for the game coming up, which I feel I have done.

“All the lads have said the same,” he added. “There is nothing I could have done at the time, I don’t think. It is the natural reaction for a defender to try and defend the ball from going in the goal but there was a guy behind me and I tried to get it out of the way but unfortunately it went in the goal.”

Listen to The42′s Ben Blake on the 98FM Euro 2016 Daily podcast throughout the tournament 

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Ben Blake

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