Belfast Telegraph

I don't think people like being positive: Mick McCarthy defiant after Republic of Ireland's win over Gibraltar

 

Being positive: Mick McCarthy
Being positive: Mick McCarthy
Seamus Coleman

By Damian Spellman

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy said he was "thrilled and delighted" despite his side struggling to overcome minnows Gibraltar 2-0 at the Aviva Stadium last night.

Joseph Chipolina's own goal and a late effort from substitute Robbie Brady handed the Republic of Ireland a Euro 2020 qualifying victory that lacked a great deal of quality.

But a defiant McCarthy said: "I'm wondering why people are thinking I should be miserable. I'm thrilled and delighted.

"Am I happy with the performance? Not really. We've had about 30 shots and couldn't score. But we got two and they didn't get any. That's 10 points in my pocket.

"I don't think people like being positive. Thank goodness I do. The players seemed a bit sad and I'm like, 'Hold on a moment'. We played better against Georgia and Denmark than we did against Gibraltar, but we've dispatched them twice.

"We ought to be better but it's not easy against a belligerent team. We could be better with our final ball and shots. I'd have taken 1-0. I'm relieved and happy with 10 points."

Republic goalscorer Brady was pleased and relieved to have been given the opportunity to come off the bench and make a crucial impact.

"I'm delighted to come on and make a difference. It's been a while since I scored. Obviously I was disappointed not to start. It's been a frustrating year. Hopefully it'll be a good one next year," said Brady.

"Gibraltar are a totally different team to the one we faced in the last campaign, they're more compact and organised. They made it difficult at times but didn't cause us too many problems.

"We could have taken a bit more care and scored a few more. We definitely need to tidy up in the next games if we want to push on."

Captain Seamus Coleman, though, didn't dodge the fact that it had largely been an uninspiring display.

Coleman said: "We're a bit disappointed with the way we performed at times. We'd like to have been better at times. But we won. We just tried to force it too much and score with every attack instead of being patient and breaking them down.

"You've got to respect Gibraltar. We knew it would be a difficult game, but we could have been better."

Striker David McGoldrick admitted he didn't expect to get awarded the opening own goal.

"I knew it was going wide. I tried to run away and celebrate to persuade Uefa to give me the goal," said McGoldrick. "The three points is the main thing. Everyone expected us to get a load of goals. I should have scored. But the main thing is 10 points from four games.

"I'm getting frustrated (to not score) but I need to keep going. I'd love to stand here with a goal for Ireland on my CV."

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