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Fighting talk: Martin O’Neill

Fighting talk: Martin O’Neill

PA

Fighting talk: Martin O’Neill

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill remained defiant last night after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Wales in the Nations League.

The result piled the pressure on O'Neill amid boos on the final whistle at the Aviva Stadium.

Harry Wilson curled home a stunning free-kick as Ryan Giggs' understudies made light of the absence of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey to deepen the Republic's woes.

O'Neill and assistant Roy Keane will mark five years at the helm next month, when they will need Denmark to lose in Wales and to then record their first win in five competitive matches in Aarhus three days later if they are to avoid relegation from League B.

The former Northern Ireland skipper said: "I felt we should have scored early on, and we are not renowned for scoring a lot of goals so we need to take our chances.

"It was a grandstand finish and I thought we could have got something, but I thought there were a lot of positives despite the result.

"They have a great spirit, we lack a little bit of technical ability. We have spirit in abundance but that won't take you everywhere. We need to be more creative if we can."

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Former Chelsea and Republic midfielder Andy Townsend argued: "It's inevitable that Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are going to wake up to calls for their heads. That's just the nature of the beast. But I didn't think that was the performance of a team not showing commitment to their manager or his staff.

"We don't have boys operating at the top end of the field that can make a difference and that is a fact."

Wales manager Ryan Giggs said: "I'm so proud, they dug in right to the end. It was a really brilliant second-half performance."

• Sligo Rovers have confirmed that they will not be renewing the contract of former Cliftonville boss Gerard Lyttle at the end of the season.


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