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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019
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It's been a long time since Ireland bounced back from competitive defeat with a victory

History is against us as we face into a must-win Euro 2016 clash with Italy.

Image: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE PRE-GAME talk from Wes Hoolohan was pretty positive.

“We have had a few setbacks and the next few games we have gone and won, or got the result we needed, so we have a good bunch of lads here who are positive”, he told reporters.

But Ireland don’t just need a point against Italy. They need to win.

And in the context of having to bounce back and respond to a setback with three points, history is not in our favour.

It’s been quite a while since we followed up a competitive defeat with a victory.

It was October 2013, when Giovanni Trapattoni had already been sacked and Noel King took temporary charge.

His first outing was in Cologne as a weary Irish side, reeling from back-to-back defeats to Sweden and Austria, lost 3-0 to Germany.

Soccer - FIFA 2014 World Cup - Qualifying - Group C - Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan - Aviva Stadium Source: Brian Lawless

Four days later, hosting Kazakhstan, Ireland signed off from a dismal qualifying campaign with a low-key, hollow and meaningless 3-1 victory.

Andy Reid, Anthony Stokes, Darron Gibson and David Forde all started that night in Dublin with the likes of Stephen Kelly, Joey O’Brien, Paul Green and a certain Damien Delaney part of the squad.

Twelve months earlier, Trapattoni’s side had managed to pick themselves up from the floor after shipping six goals at home to Germany.

But the subsequent 4-1 away win over the Faroe Islands still wasn’t very convincing.

So, perhaps bouncebackability isn’t our strongest point.

From a tournament perspective, we’ve never managed to follow up a defeat with a win.

In total, we’ve only racked up four victories from 19 World Cup or European Championship finals games.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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