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'We threw the kitchen sink at them' - Walters admits 'sombre' atmosphere after Serbia loss

The Ireland skipper insists all is not lost despite suffering a major setback tonight.

Agony and ecstasy: The scene at full-time.
Agony and ecstasy: The scene at full-time.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

A DEJECTED JON Walters was still coming to terms with the events of the past four days when he emerged to speak to the media tonight.

Standing in the bowels of the Aviva Stadium, the Ireland skipper touched on a second-half penalty claim for what looked to be a foul on Daryl Murphy and mentioned some cynical tactics by the Serbia players after they had gone down to 10 men.

Overall, however, Walters accepted that Ireland hadn’t done enough over the 90 minutes to avoid a 1-0 defeat.

“We threw the kitchen sink at them and couldn’t get the result,” Walters said afterwards.

“Fair play to Serbia. We had some half-chances, shots from the edge of the box that didn’t hit the target. We probably should have had a penalty but it wasn’t to be. They’re a very difficult side, the way they play the game and waste a bit of time.

“They went 1-0 up so they were always going to put men behind the ball. They’ve got big boys and they’re clever in how they do going down quite easy. They got free-kicks you probably wouldn’t get in England.”

Jonathan Walters and Shane Long dejected after the game Walters and Shane Long after the loss. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

The loss leaves Ireland as outsiders to seal qualification to next year’s World Cup with Wales now one point ahead of them and tonight’s opponents a further four better off.

Wins over Moldova and Chris Coleman’s Welsh side in October will be needed if the Boys in Green are to have any chance of making the 2018 finals, and the 33-year-old insists they will fight right until the end.

Look, it’s pretty sombre in there after the defeat but we know we’ve got a month to go,” he added. “We meet up again and then we’ll be right up for those two games. It’s going to be a grandstand finish and we know what we need, two wins. We’ll go for it.

“It doesn’t matter how you perform, if you don’t get the points. It wasn’t to be. We go again — Moldova here and then the big one in Wales. We’ll see what’s to be and hopefully we can put in performances like that and get the right result.”

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Player ratings: How the Boys in Green fared against Serbia tonight

Improvements made but Ireland’s World Cup hopes take a major hit as 10-man Serbia claim narrow win

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Ben Blake

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