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PA Wire/Press Association Images Bracewell is coming under increased pressure as head coach.
# Under Pressure
Bracewell: External pressure and years of history weigh heavily on Ireland
The head coach was speaking ahead of tomorrow’s historic visit to Lord’s.

IRELAND COACH JOHN BRACEWELL has said his side will have to learn to cope with the ‘huge external pressure’ that, in his opinion, contributed to their crushing defeat by England on Friday.

Bracewell’s side produced a performance bordering on pathetic in the first One-Day International at Bristol to slip to a humiliating seven-wicket loss, and there is now a very real sense of foreboding heading into Sunday’s historic visit to Lord’s.

Captain William Porterfield didn’t try and offer up any excuses in yesterday’s post-match press conference but insisted, as has been the case throughout a disappointing two years, that ‘one bad game doesn’t make us a bad team.’

One bad day at the office is acceptable and understandable, but a string of abject and below-par displays is not and yesterday’s embarrassment only served to highlight the problems.

These are now incredibly worrying times, but it all of this comes just a few weeks out from an International Cricket Council meeting which could result in Ireland being granted Test status.

But the results over the last 12 months, and in particular the 7-2 reversal across all three formats to fellow Test aspirants Afghanistan, is a telling indication of how far this team have fallen since the 2015 World Cup.

England v Ireland - First Royal London One Day International - The Brightside Ground David Davies David Davies

For now, however, there is a chance for some form of redemption on Sunday as Ireland head to Lord’s for a first-ever ODI appearance at the Home of Cricket.

“They are having huge external pressure put on them, carrying the nation’s hope through hundreds of years of history,” Bracewell said this afternoon.

“It is something we were probably sweeping under the carpet a little bit and trying to pretend it wasn’t there, but they’ve recognised that.

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“I think yesterday they really felt that. If you’re going to have a bad day, you may as well crash — and yesterday we did.”

Wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien is still experiencing pain in his finger arising from surgery last year and has emerged as a doubt for Sunday’s game, with John Anderson called into the squad as cover.

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‘One bad game doesn’t make us a bad team’ – Ireland captain defiant after England thrashing

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