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Wednesday 26 September 2018

O'Neill admits he'll have withdrawal symptoms

MARTIN O'NEILL admitted that he may well suffer withdrawal symptoms between now and Ireland's next assignment against Serbia in March.

After a satisfying 0-0 draw with Poland in Poznan, O'Neill will take time to review what he has seen during his first two games in charge before making plans for the road ahead.

"I won't see them for sometime, I'll have withdrawal symptoms but I'm sure it will be the same for the players. I might be on the phone to them, but I'm not sure they're looking forward to that," he laughed.

O'Neill was pleased with another clean sheet and was equally happy with the determined defending.

"The pitch was sticky, there were some divots. There weren't many chances but we showed terrific resilience," he said.

"I thought we started very well and got it down and played. The changes we made disrupted our rhythm but there were loads of things to take out of it.

"Results and performances are very, very important and it's been really enjoyable for me.

"This was away from home and it's a good result for us. There are lots of things we can improve on and the players think that themselves.

"I made seven or eight changes, getting players into the fold and feeling they are part of it. I agree it was not the most fantastic spectacle."

O'Neill picked Jon Walters as his skipper while Robbie Keane stayed rooted to the bench.

James McCarthy gave another Man of the Match performance as O'Neill again played a high line and encouraged his players to play.

However, Sean St Ledger's injury woe continued when he limped off after half an hour.

3BIG MATCH SPECIAL: PAGES 66-71

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