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Wednesday 19 December 2018

Coleman: 'We must improve to avoid criticism'

Seamus Coleman
Seamus Coleman

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman admits that Martin O'Neill's side have to take the criticism that's come their way in the wake of the latest Dublin disaster.

Thursday's 0-0 draw at home to Northern Ireland means that the Republic have now failed to score in three successive home games, and fans reacted with boos at the final whistle.

Coleman accepts that supporters and analysts alike have reason to be unhappy and insists it's up to the team to get them back on side.

"We are trying our best for our country and for our fans, when we are not good enough we have to take it on the chin and on Thursday night we weren't," Coleman admitted.

"These fans are paying their money but the only way we can turn that around is by putting in performances, it's only us who can do that and we have to weather the storm and fight our corner.

"I come here and try to say the right things but the only place we can do that is on the football pitch, not by speaking before the games in press conferences, or speaking after games. On the pitch is the only way we can make it better.

"Only we can fix that, we have to weather the storm now, we will probably get criticised and rightly so, we need to take that on the chin, man up a bit.

"The big thing for me is to get on the ball and make things happen, that's the only way we can score goals. We have to go to Denmark now and put in a performance for ourselves and the travelling fans," added the Everton man.

"I am around a long time, we have to take criticism and rightly so, we have not been good enough but the only way we can turn it around is by sticking together and showing what kind of character we have, and we need to show that against Denmark."

Martin O'Neill commented after the 0-0 draw that Coleman had noted the team's inability to bring the (supposedly) good form in training into a match situation, and Coleman took time to expand on that thought.

"We have training games and we all get on the ball, we all want the ball and we need to transfer that onto the pitch, myself included," he said.

"There is no finger-pointing at any individuals. As a team we need to be braver.

"As a team in football the hardest thing is to get on the ball and make things happen, if someone has the ball he needs two or three options and if he doesn't then it's a difficult job for him, he has to maybe try to beat someone which is another tough thing to do in football.

"It's hard to put your finger on it, we are going out there trying to do the right things, I think there is going to be times in a game where the other team have possession but when we have possession we have to be better, when our centre halves have the ball we can't just expect them to kick it long.

"They are not told to kick it long, I am not pointing at the centre-halves here, I am pointing at all of us, the players around the centre halves, we have to make options for them, we are doing that in training and we have to do that on the pitch."

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