Martin O'Neill disappointed with Republic of Ireland performance

FIGHTING FUND

The Republic of Ireland continue their World Cup qualifying campaign today as they take on Georgia in Tblisi, Mirror reports.

Nika Kvekveskiri sent in a low driven shot that worked Randolph, and a rasping cross from Kakabadze should have been turned in by Kvivitaia in the box in the 20 minute, though Ireland did go close moments later through a James McClean break.

The 27-year-old Bournemouth midfielder won just his sixth senior cap in June's draw with Austria in Dublin two years after making his global debut, with injuries having interrupted his attempts to force his way into Martin O'Neill's plans during the intervening period.

But Georgia dominated possession and took control of the game before Valeri Qazaishvili equalised after 34 minutes with a goal that seemed to knock the stuffing out of Ireland. Each time a Shane Duffy header or a Glenn Whelan hoof was to nobody and each time the home side, roared on by the crowd in the Dinamo Arena, came right back.

"All around we weren't good enough: our passing, our energy, our defending, our finishing".

"One thing I would say, though, is that I think as a country and as a management, they have got it spot on in the sense that they pick players in the end purely based on ability and if it is and English-born player that deserves to play, they play him".

"We'll have better nights; hopefully one of those will be on Tuesday".

They meet leaders Serbia in Dublin on Tuesday night. "We probably had a little bit more of the ball then but against technical, very good players we would want to impose ourselves a lot better than we did tonight".

"It is nice to pop up here and there with a goal but I would rather get a clean sheet and three points".

Over on Irish TV channel RTE, Tony O'Donoghue had a tough job following the game.

However, Georgia were back in the game within three minutes when the excellent Ananidze collected Valerian Gvilia's pass and unpicked the Irish rearguard to slide Valeri Kazaishvili in on goal, and he made no mistake as Randolph advanced in vain.

With four minutes left, Ireland could - and perhaps should - have netted a second when Long played in McClean but despite advancing into the penalty area, the midfielder's effort was smothered by Makaridze.

McClean and substitute Aiden McGeady did have two late chances to nick a win, but a heavy first touch and a woeful effort from 12 yards respectively put paid to those chances.

Even if we'd won tonight", he continued, in a more determined attempt to look on the bright side, "they still would have been top of the group with goal difference and it would have been as critical a game. They're a good side and we knew they were good at keeping the ball.

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