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Richie Sadlier deeply concerned despite Ireland’s 4-1 win against Andorra

Richie Sadlier Ireland

Richie Sadlier has expressed great concern in the Republic of Ireland’s performance despite their 4-1 win against Andorra.

Ireland finally got their first win under manager Stephen Kenny against the nation of roughly 78,000 inhabitants, as the boys in green responded well after falling behind by a goal early on in the second half.

Despite the win, once-capped Ireland international Sadlier was unconvinced by the performance, telling RTE that there were few positives to take away from the victory.

“We said at the start of the game that you can’t read too much into a win against Andorra because of their quality,” Sadlier.

“It’s an awful thing to say but the fatigue in that Andorra team was a big factor in us being able to exert our authority over them in the second half. They had two, possibly three howlers from their goalkeeper.

“So overall it’s a win – which is what we expected. But there’s loads and loads of concerning aspects to the performance.”

Andorra’s opening goal.

Andorra took the lead in the 52nd minute thanks to a lovely header from Marc Vales, which seemed to spur Ireland into life as they quickly responded through two goals from Troy Parrott.

While Kenny’s side improved significantly after conceding the opening goal, Sadlier was stunned by the quality of Ireland’s defence for Vales’ goal.

“The goal was terrible. Stephen [Kenny] said before that they’d had more time with them than ever before in the training camp. But you look and go ‘What did you do? What did you spend time doing?’,” Sadlier commented.

“Was it just generic training and preparation for a couple of games or did they actually plot a path here that they want all the players to go along with? It wasn’t obvious for a long, long time.

“When they got knackered a group of players that are split between the Andorra league and the Spanish fourth division – when they ran out of steam we started looking like a team. But that’s not enough. That’s not enough to be too excited about.”

Ireland’s first half performance.

While Ireland did improve in the second half, many aspects of their performance were particularly disappointing in the opening 45 minutes.

Sadlier was scathing of the side at the break, commenting on their inability to break down the Andorran defence.

“If they met up a couple of days ago you’d still expect more. What we’re seeing now is very poor,” Sadlier said.

“This is a team that has been sold to us on the idea of possession football, getting on the ball and playing differently and playing brighter on the ball.

“It’s something that they’re being coached to do, or being trained to do – you would assume – in the training camp. They’re not being able to work out how to get around Andorra players.

“One of the many concerns is that there have been a couple of times Bazunu has had the ball, a couple of times the defender has had the ball, and the press from the Andorran players just  bamboozles them. They lose it, they go long, they’re short of ideas.”

Ireland will travel to Budapest to take on Hungary next Tuesday in another friendly, where they look to get their second win under Kenny.

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