“We were disappointed because we felt like we wanted to put on a show.”
Seamus Coleman has said the Republic of Ireland players were unhappy with their performance against Gibraltar on Monday evening. Mick McCarthy’s side recorded a 2-0 win over the team ranked 195th in the world thanks to an own goal from Joseph Chipolina and a header in the dying minutes by Robbie Brady.
It wasn’t an impressive display from the Boys in Green, who struggled to break down a modestly talented team.
Ireland lacked fluency in their build-up play and a clinical touch in front of goal. Strikers Scott Hogan and David McGoldrick had several openings but failed to find the finishing touch and their wait for a first international goal goes on.
Coleman has said that the team’s ineffective performance was down to their impatience in the final third.
“I said it last night, we probably weren’t patient enough at times,” the Ireland captain told reporters at Citywest Hotel on Tuesday morning.
“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.”
Coleman was one of Ireland’s main attacking outlets on the night, as he pushed forward from right-back and got several crosses into the box. But the Everton defender conceded that there were a few “miscued” crosses on the night and the team, at times, “forced” moves rather than aiming to pick the right pass when near the opposition goal.
He also admitted that McCarthy had to pick his players up following the match and remind them of their positive position in the group table.
“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’,” Coleman said.
“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 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 weren’t clinical enough.”
Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualification group concludes in the autumn. McCarthy’s team will play Switzerland on September 5 in Dublin. A month later, they face the Swiss and Georgia away from home before finishing the group against Denmark in Dublin in November.
Coleman expects Ireland to improve in the autumn qualifiers and was keen to stress that the team is in a good place.
“There are definitely things to improve on and obviously last night we weren’t amazing. But I thought we were quite good against Denmark. As I said we have got a lot to look forward to. I know we played Gibraltar twice and there’s a hell of a lot of work to do in this group yet, but we are looking forward to the games coming up.”
SPAR Ambassador and Republic of Ireland football captain Seamus Coleman was on hand to launch SPAR’s new SPAR Better Choices Low Fat Protein Milk and Mega Milk.
In his role as a SPAR ambassador for SPAR Better Choices, Seamus is encouraging healthier choices on-the-go, and at home, with SPAR.