Ryan Byrne/INPHO John Egan (file pic).
# Reaction
'We played well enough and created a lot of good opportunities - we just couldn’t take them'
John Egan was remaining upbeat after Ireland’s Nations League winless run continued.

JOHN EGAN was remaining upbeat after Ireland’s winless run in the Nations League extended to 12 matches, as they were beaten 1-0 by a second-string Ukraine at the Aviva Stadium last night.

The Sheffield United defender feels an inability to be clinical in the final third was the primary reason for a second successive defeat following Saturday’s loss in Armenia.

“It was a disappointing result. I thought we started really well, had them on the back foot, didn’t punish them and I suppose from our point of view it was a sloppy goal to concede. Overall I thought we played well enough and created a lot of good opportunities — we just couldn’t take them.”

Asked about Viktor Tsygankov’s winning goal — a dangerous inswinging free-kick that evaded everyone and bounced into the top corner — Egan said: “It was a dangerous ball into the area between the defenders and the goalkeeper and obviously if you can’t get a head to it, sometimes they fly straight in. It was a disappointing goal to concede.

“That’s football, you get knocked back and it is all about how you respond to it and how you bounce back. We have a changing room in there where everybody wants to bounce back and put it right next Saturday.”

The 29-year-old Corkonian also played down suggestions the squad were tired at the end of a long, hard season.

“The players always give 100% and that’s the least you can expect when you put on an Ireland jersey. I think everybody has given everything, we want to win the game but came out on the wrong end of a tight game.”

It was a miserable evening for Egan in particular, as he pulled up and was substituted through injury after 58 minutes and said he was unsure if he would be available for the weekend’s clash with Scotland.

“I just rolled my ankle in the first half and it got worse. I don’t know, I will just have to get it assessed and see how it is.”

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