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‘We could have stayed a bit braver’ – Seamus Coleman assesses defeat to Serbia

Seamus Coleman suggested that the Republic of Ireland players ‘could have stayed a bit braver’ after Stephen Kenny’s side fell to a 3-2 defeat in Serbia.

Ireland opened and finished the scoring in their first World Cup qualifier but there was a period in the second half when Serbia took hold of the match and gave the visitors too much to do.

Despite concerns over the new system utilised by Kenny, Coleman is of the opinion that the strategy worked well but the captain lamented the lack of defensive solidity.

Seamus Coleman

Coleman, who played as part of a back three in Belgrade, was happy with the performances of some of his teammates but the Donegal man expressed disappointment about how the game played out.

“You are always disappointed to lose a game, especially going 1-0 up,” Coleman told RTE Sport.

“We had a new system tonight and I thought we did it quite well.

“Ultimately if you concede three goals at this level, chances are you’ll lose the game so it is disappointing but there are a lot of positives to take.

“We tried to play out from the back, we did it well at times, I think. We probably could have stayed a bit braver as the game went on but we’ll learn from that, I’m sure.

Seamus Coleman

“We’re disappointed, some good performances individually but we wanted to come here and win the game and we haven’t done that so that’s the disappointment.”

Wednesday night was Coleman’s first appearance for the national team since October 2019, when the Everton full-back was sent off during Ireland’s defeat away to Switzerland.

Ireland will next host Luxembourg in Dublin on Saturday night and a positive result will be crucial if Kenny’s side is to hold out hope of qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.

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