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Must do better: here's how the Trap's Ireland players rated

Ireland delivered what was widely perceived to be a below-par team performance, but how did each individual fare?

Trap admitted Ireland were poor in the first half.
Trap admitted Ireland were poor in the first half.

Shay Given: Ireland fans all breathed a sigh of relief in unison when, in a post-match interview, Richard Dunne confirmed that Given’s departure at half-time had been planned beforehand. The goalkeeper was reliable as ever in the first half, pulling off a few key saves. 7

Stephen Ward: The Wolves man made a great tackle on Szalai towards the end of the first half to prevent what looked a certain goal. However, on other occasions he seemed far less assured, with his poor positional sense being exposed on more than one occasion by the opposition. 5

Sean St Ledger: Made some excellent blocks to ensure Ireland kept a clean sheet and was one of the more impressive performers in green on the night. The Leicester man should now be considered one of the first names on the teamsheet. 7

Richard Dunne: His rustiness as he continues to get back to full fitness was evident on occasion, as Szalai gave him an uncomfortable evening. However, he will be pleased to get another 90 minutes under his belt and looked solid for the most part. 6

John O’Shea: Produced one excellent through ball that almost resulted in Walters scoring, but also made one or two sloppy passes on occasion. Like the Irish team in general, O’Shea can do better. 6

Aiden McGeady: Probably Ireland’s biggest threat on the counter-attack, as the Scottish-born player demonstrated his customary pace and trickery, but that’s not saying a lot, given their unsatisfactory overall performance. Moreover, he failed to show the consistent excellence of the Bosnia game. 6

Glenn Whelan: Had one or two uncharacteristic rampaging runs forward, but was disappointing overall, as he was part of a midfield that was consistently overrun. 5

(Glenn Whelan endured a difficult evening – INPHO/Donall Farmer)

Keith Andrews: Frustratingly anonymous for the most part, I can barely remember mentioning Andrews’ name once in the liveblog earlier, which is a serious worry for a player that Ireland are depending on to boss the midfield. 5

Damien Duff: Showed flashes of brilliance, including a good cross for an O’Shea header in the first half. He was excellent as ever defensively too, but didn’t threaten going forward on a consistent enough basis. 6

Robbie Keane: Had very little service in his defence, but conceded possession too cheaply on a number of occasions when Ireland badly needed to hold onto it. Although in the second half he did play one wonderful through ball to Walters, who was wrongly adjudged to be offside. 5

Kevin Doyle: Not as poor as some people were suggesting. Doyle did win countless headers in the first half, but faded and looked worryingly tired towards the end of the opening 45 minutes. Questions will continue to be asked as to whether he merits his starting spot. 6

Substitutes: Jonathan Walters, Stephen Hunt and Darron Gibson all made a significant difference when they entered the fray, as reflected by Ireland’s improved second-half display, while others such as Paul Green and Simon Cox did little wrong. 7

Giovanni Trapattoni: His side at least managed to partially quell the waves of Hungarian attacks in the second period, but his indecisiveness in the post-match interview was telling. His suggestion that he may switch to a 4-5-1 system at this late stage indicates panic could already be setting in. 5

Read: Match report: Ireland stumble towards Poland with draw against Hungary>

Read: I might play one up front against Croatia, says Trap>

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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