Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill sees positives despite Mexico defeat

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill sees positives despite Mexico defeat

He will have seen that chink in the Irish armour from set-plays but this week, he has a lot more to be anxious about than Martin O'Neill.

"I can't wait for these games".

"We know what we have to do on Sunday and we're looking forward to it".

It is nearly a year since former Manchester United youngster Brady burst onto the worldwide stage with a series of fine individual displays as Ireland reached the last 16 at Euro 2016 in France.

His exploits were rewarded with a £13million January move from Norwich to Burnley, although the transition to life at Turf Moor has not been smooth.

Walters not only got some badly-needed game time but also scored a superb goal, a first-half strike which lifts him into joint seventh place on the all-time list of our worldwide goalscorers, a brilliant return from a player who was 27 when he made his global debut. I can't wait for these games coming up.

"My main focus was just trying to get fit for these and I have and now that I'm fit, I want to be a part of it".

Christie won't be complaining about their shortcomings here, though with the right back rounding off a strong overall display with a goal thanks to a mistake by Sebastian Coates, whose haphazard attempt to cut out a rather harmless looking shot can not have made life any easier for his goalkeeper.

Callum O'Dowda completed 90 minutes in Republic of Ireland's 3-1 defeat to Mexico in the early hours of this morning.

Whelan and Arter's withdrawn roles allowed Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick and Jonny Hayes to push further forward and supplement the lone striker, Jonathan Walters.

O'Neill is forecasting a hard task against Oscar Tabarez's men despite the absence of the injured Luis Suarez but that is exactly what he wants.

The manager said: "They're obviously big shoes to fill and Cyrus has always done well for us".

But it was goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who lost his place at West Ham towards the end of the Premier League season, who was given ample opportunity to regain match sharpness with the Mexicans cutting loose throughout.

Ireland deserved this victory delivering a display which was a major improvement on last week's poor showing against Mexico.

"But Austria now is an even bigger one".

"They completely twisted what I said, which was unusual and hurtful".

Arter, who briefly needed treatment on the pitch during Sunday night's 3-1 friendly victory over Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium, said: "I've got a slight little problem with my ankle at the moment". I have to step up and obviously there is a lot of pressure on me to fill those boots.

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