GLENN WHELAN HAS praised the Ireland team’s performance last night against Germany, saying “overall, we’ve given a good account of ourselves”.
Although Noel King’s side ultimately lost 3-0, the Stoke midfielder feels the scoreline did not fairly reflect their performance.
“3-0 is a little bit harsh,” he said. “At 2-0 down, we tried to nick one, but then they broke right at the end. But nobody gave us a chance before the game.”
Asked about the team’s tactics at the start of the game, Whelan admits they consciously erred on the side of caution
“The plan wasn’t to press them — we didn’t get out of our own half,” he said. “The new manager’s come in, and he’s got a way of playing.
“Obviously, we wanted to try to keep it compact and we did that. If you look at the goals that we’ve conceded — one was a deflection and the second was poor on our part coming from a corner, we’ve rushed out and left a body in there, and the third goal is a breakaway.
“There’s some positives to take. We’re just disappointed for Noel that we couldn’t get a goal and give him something to celebrate.”
And Whelan admitted he was surprised at being asked to play an unfamiliar position on the right but said he was more than happy to assume the role.
“All week, we’ve set out with this formation, but during the week, I never found myself on the right and then, Noel spoke to me [Friday] morning about trying to do a job out there.
“I said to Noel, I’ll play in goals if needs be. I’ll do anything for my country.
“But from my perspective, it was easy enough because I had Seamus behind me. He spoke about where he wanted me and when needed, got legs to get ahead of me.”
As regards his club situation with Stoke, Whelan admits it has been difficult at times to have to accept a place on the bench.
“It’s been tough,” he said. “I got dropped after the first game. I didn’t think I deserved to be. I’ve kept my head down. I’ve played a couple of the cup games and we’ve done well in them.
“Going out tonight, I tried to put in a performance worthy of getting back in the team and I’m sure I can do that. So I’ll keep my head down and work hard and give the manager something to think about.”