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John O'Shea: 'On another night we could have a 3-0 win'

O’Shea lauds Madden but rues missed chances in friendly stalemate.

Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

JOHN O’SHEA PRAISED the impact of debutant Paddy Madden after the Yeovil Town striker made his international bow against Wales last night, but admitted that Ireland missed the influence of record goalscorer Robbie Keane.

The Sunderland defender has been impressed with former Bohemian’s striker Madden and revealed that his eagerness in training since joining up with the squad for the first time had made everyone sit up and take notice.

“He’s been very good in training. He’s one of those players, everyone thinks it will be nice and easy-osey in training and next thing you have Paddy Madden in snapping at your heels. It’s great to see because that enthusiasm is always needed in a squad, because players will think ‘Ok, this fella is coming in to make an impact’.

“He was fantastic the first couple of days in training, everyone noticed it, you know I mean, he’s here to make an impact. He’s unfortunate tonight he could have came away the match winner on another night, so lots to look forward to. If he can start scoring goals for Yeovil, he’ll take the attention and keep a lot of strikers on their toes.”

The fact that Ireland missed a hat-ful of chances against the Welsh without Keane however wasn’t missed by captain for the night O’Shea.

“His record speaks for itself. You saw the few friendlies LA Galaxy were playing there (in pre-season) and his poaching skills, picking up some great goals….as long as Robbie is fully fit for us in a few of weeks that’s the important thing. The manager knows he’s got fantastic options as well and that will be the big thing for us; to keep everyone fully fit for the next few weeks is key because Sweden and Austria, while we are more than capable of winning those games, we’re under no illusions they are going to be very tough games as well.”

The Waterford native was disappointed that Ireland did not take victory in the low-key Cardiff friendly despite a continuation of their good recent run of results.

“We are a little bit disappointed. You come away to an international ground and you create so many chances as we did and you’re a little disappointed not to get the win. That’s a sign of where we’ve moved on. I think we’ve pushed on a bit, we’ve come away from home created so many chances…. obviously there was plenty of changes towards the latter stages of the game but we were able to keep the tempo up and create good chances. Another night we could have a 2-0, 3-0 win.”

With crunch qualifiers against Sweden and Austria on the horizon Ireland were given another reminder of the danger of Sweden’s talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic as word filtered through of his three-goal haul during his country’s friendly with Norway. O’Shea joked that maybe that might be all the PSG star’s goals out of the way before he faces Ireland in September.

“Tony O’Donoghue (RTÉ correspondent) told me there. I said to him fingers crossed that’s his hat-trick out of the way now! Look we’re fully aware, I think it’s a timely reminder for everyone how talented a player he is and what we’ll have to do to keep an eye on him as well for the game coming up. Not also just him though, they’ve got some good attacking players, good threat, defensively.. we’re fully aware of it. We had a tough game over there and we drew 0-0 and people were buzzing about it but look we know we have a tough game coming.

“It’s one of those things, people say if we take four points it’d be great, six points…. look we’ll wait and see. We’ll take the first game against Sweden and if we can get a positive result from that game we’ll know what we have to do against Austria as well. One game at a time, it’s a home game, no matter what team you’re playing against we have to be confident of winning it and move on from there,” he added.

Audio courtesy of 98fm

‘Hopefully I’ve shown the gaffer that I’m up to international standard’ – Madden

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