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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019
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Uninspiring Gibraltar performance won't affect team's link with the public - Seamus Coleman

The Irish captain admitted his side weren’t patient enough on the ball in a dreary 2-0 qualifier win.

SEAMUS COLEMAN IS confident that Ireland’s uninspiring performance in last night’s laborious 2-0 qualifier win against Gibraltar won’t affect the link between the team and the Irish public. 

Seamus Coleman Seamus Coleman. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ahead of the game, the Irish captain used his experience at Saturday’s Ulster Championship game between Donegal and Tyrone – at which fans of both sides approached him to express their gratitude for Friday’s performance and result in Denmark – to highlight the strong link between players and public. 

So in spite of a humdrum performance at the Aviva Stadium last night, Coleman believes supporters remain onside. 

“Maybe nights like last night fans might not be going home as happy as we would like them to”, Coleman told reporters.

“But we still won the game. I’ve no questions about how they’ll view us going forward, they’ve always supported us through good and bad times. When we’re out there I always feel fully supported by the fans. And we’ve got 10 points from 12 and it’s been a good start for us. We look forward and I know fans will be with us every step of the way.” 

Coleman said the atmosphere in the ground was good, although understood why it fell flat at times. 

“I think no matter what level you play at I think the crowd feeds off what you’re doing on the pitch.

“At times it was a bit flat because we were a bit flat, and then when we scored the atmosphere was good.

“I touched on it a few times this week, our fans are great. That’s why I was disappointed that we didn’t put on a little bit more of a show for them, because they spent good money to come and watch us as well.” 

Coleman wasn’t dressing up the Irish performance, saying his side should have been more patient in possession.

“We got three points, we are on 10 points from 12, but disappointed probably in with our final third play. I said it last night, we probably weren’t patient enough at times.

“We probably felt like we needed a big scoreline as that’s what everyone expected, so we were trying to score with every attack instead of keeping the ball for a while in the final third, wearing them down and creating some chances.” 

Mick McCarthy said after the game that the players weren’t happy with their performance, which Coleman confirmed. 

“He came in and told us, ‘I don’t know why you are so down, I know we could have performed better and all the rest’.

But 10 points from 12 is something he was looking for and that’s what we got. He knows we will improve against the bigger teams. I think we were disappointed because we felt like we wanted to put on a show, we’re at home, we’ve been playing on the front foot recently, we’ve been quite positive.

“So, we felt like we needed to impress a little bit more. We didn’t do that. Darren [Randolph]  didn’t have much to do in the second half. It’s not like we weren’t on top. It’s just that we weren’t patient enough in the final third. And we weren’t clinical enough.” 

Seamus Coleman was speaking at the launch of the SPAR Better Choices Low Fat Protein Milk and Mega Milk.

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Gavin Cooney

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