THREE GAMES at Euro 2012, no points and no positives from an Irish perspective -- that was assessment of Keith Andrews today as Ireland's players prepared to quit their Polish base and head back home after a bruising experience at the European Championship finals.
It was bruising in a personal sense for Andrews -- who had been Ireland's most impressive player in the tournament and is a stand-out candidate for the captaincy should Robbie Keane retire (or have the armband taken away) -- as he was sent off by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir two minutes from time, a decision which will see Andrews suspended for the start of the World Cup qualifiers away to Kazakhstan in September.
The Dubliner came away from Poland with his reputation enhanced and, given that he's out of contract with West Brom that will do Andrews no harm, either in negotiating a new deal with the Baggies or moving on, but that's of little consolation to him after a difficult tournament.
"It's very hard to find positives as it's been bitterly disappointing," Andrews said when asked if Euro 2012 had any plus points for Ireland.
"We came here looking to give a good account of ourselves, there was no point in travelling for the craic, I said that after we beat Estonia in the play-offs.
"We didn't do ourselves justice, and we weren't at the races in the first game. In the second game we have to hold our hands up and admit that we were beaten by a fantastic side, we did give a better account of ourselves last night, we showed a bit more fight but we fell short overall," added Andrews.
"There was a bit of spirit there last night, we wanted to try and produce something as we were disappointed with the first two games.
"We tried to give it our all but they have some fantastic individuals, when in possession they kept it very well and in the second half in particular we brought the game to them, as much as we could and we might have taken something from the game," Andrews said.