MARTIN O'Neill accentuated the positives after a dull bore draw with England at the Aviva and converted left-full Robbie Brady, in particular, caught his eye.
"He's a very fine player, he hasn't a problem playing in that position and in many aspects he feels as if he's quite strong coming onto things from that position further back," said O'Neill.
"I thought he dealt with situations defensively very well indeed and Aiden (McGeady) came back once or twice to help him. Overall, in one on one situations he was excellent."
Overall, O'Neill was happy with the exercise.
"If we'd had been able to take one or two chances which we got in the game, which we have to do against Scotland, that would have been very pleasing.
"But defensively, particularly when we got tired towards the end, I thought that defensively we still played pretty strong.
"That was also helped by midfield players coming in to help out.
"Overall, I was pleased with that."
O'Neill wanted to use Wes Hoolahan but didn't get the chance. "I'd like to have given him the last 15 or 20 minutes but at that stage John (O'Shea) has pulled up with the calf problem and we had no subs left."