Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland's O'Shea calling for a ruthless streak

By Damian Spellman

John O'Shea has urged the Republic of Ireland to be more ruthless at both ends of the pitch if they are to qualify for the finals of Euro 2016.

Martin O'Neill's men slipped to their second successive defeat at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday evening when Turkey emerged as 2-1 winners, just as Serbia had done in March.

However, Ireland created more than enough chances to win the game, but ultimately were made to pay for a toxic combination of missed opportunities and defensive errors.

Both O'Neill and his captain for the night were able to take plenty of positives from the display, but know the failings in both attack and defence must be ironed out if they are to prosper when the competitive action starts in September.

O'Shea said: "At the time they got their first goal, we had total control and that's something we must learn very quickly, especially taking the chances because at international level.

"I struggle to remember a game where we have had as many chances and we have and only come out with one goal, so that's frustrating.

"I'd be more worried if we weren't creating chances, that's the big thing. When you are playing against teams like Serbia and Turkey and we have created as many chances as we have, there's something going right.

"Whether we need a bit of luck to fall our way, a decision to go our way, we are creating the chances, and that's the main thing.

"We have to make sure our concentration levels are up and make sure when we are in control of the game that we are shutting teams out as well and not giving them a sniff to counter-attack and score goals against us."

Ireland were dominating the game when they hit out of the blue by Ahmet Ilhan Ozek's fine 17th-minute header, and had regained control once again when substitute Osman Tarik Camdal extended the visitors' lead with 14 minutes remaining.

Jon Walters' strike two minutes later gave the Republic hope, but it was all too little too late to leave he and his team-mates hugely frustrated.

But there will be little time for O'Neill's players to dwell on that frustration as they turn their attention to a series of even tougher tests, beginning with Italy at Craven Cottage on Saturday and fellow World Cup finalists Costa Rica and Portugal to come in the United States early next month.

O'Shea said: "The games coming up aren't easy, but they are games to look forward to and games we can build on and hopefully get that result we need."

Belfast Telegraph


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