UNDERSTANDABLY, NOT MANY Irish players were in much of a mood for talking after last night’s hope-shattering 2-1 home defeat to Sweden.
A big feature of Seamus Coleman’s night was communicating his second-half frustration in the direction of Jonathan Walters.
Walters’ replacement Simon Cox rarely got close enough to the right wing for Coleman to get a point across. So the Donegal man was long finished talking by the time he emerged first from the dressing room and hurriedly ducked past the microphones.
Simon Cox soon followed, though he initially appeared to be looking for an alternate route out to the team bus before being ushered to the waiting press. His headphones remained lowered onto his neck, but his slow swagger made it clear that he didn’t have a view he wished to share.
James McCarthy did give up two minutes of his time, but Everton didn’t buy the midfielder for charismatic PR persona. The ex-Wigan man rested back onto the phrase ‘we need to get going again’ five times in three answers.
McCarthy is arguably the biggest loser from the style of play Ireland employed last night.
With so many long passes directed at the undersized target man up front, the ball spent an evening flying over McCarthy’s head.
When Ireland did plot a route through the middle, McCarthy and Glenn Whelan found themselves outnumbered with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alex Kacaniklic happily lending their weight to the engine room tussle.
“At times it was difficult in the middle,” McCarthy says, “but obviously the centre-halves tried to get up as much as they could. It was difficult; it was one of those nights. They done well and we didn’t get on the ball as much as we would have wanted to.
“Each and every one of us is disappointed. We need to get going again and make amends on Tuesday.”
The later arriving experienced heads of the squad were also making noises of desperation the trip to Vienna.
“The great thing about football,” says Robbie Keane with a preview of the rallying cry his squad can expect today, “there’s always another game.
“It’s simple; we have to win the game. There are no ifs or buts, we have to win – You don’t need to tell the players. We have a game on Tuesday and if we don’t get anything out of it, it’s finito – simple as that.
“If they can’t get themselves up, knowing how important the game is, there’s a serious problem.”