AS THE only national team on the European stage at the moment to have three 100-cap players in the squad, Irish football is not really entitled to have a moan about a lack of experience.
But, as we are learning, winning caps in home friendly internationals in front of small crowds - the last two non-competitive Ireland matches in Dublin each had a smaller gate that the (supposedly) poorly-attended FAI Cup final a few weeks ago - can count for little when it comes to the white-hot heat of a major European Championship qualifier away from home in front of 60,000 fans.
Friday in Glasgow was a massive night and a massive stage for Ireland but on the night, a number of players simply let the game pass them by. Jeff Hendrick, Seamus Coleman and James McClean have had good nights and will have more of good nights but last Friday night was one one of them.
It is a learning process, and while a batch of the current squad are still learning their trade, with seven of the players involved in Friday's loss to Scotland on a career tally of 25 caps or less, one of those rookies - 11-cap man Stephen Quinn - feels that the current crop have to meet challenges like this one head-on.
"We had a lot of relatively young lads in the squad and it's a big learning curve, Friday in Glasgow was a big stage to play on, 60,000 fans," says Quinn, who impressed on Friday as a 68th minute sub for the ineffective Darron Gibson. "We have to grow up fast and embrace that, instead of being afraid of it, as we have some really big games to come.
"The pitch wasn't good on Friday so it was always going to be a battle and about who could nick a goal, sadly for us they got it from a set piece. With the pitch as as bad as it was, all the rivalry between the two teams and the atmosphere on the night it was never going to be about pretty football, it was more about the heart than the head, and that's how it proved," added Quinn, who was so upset by the fact of losing to the Scots that he was unable to engage in the traditional 'banter' with club-mate Andrew Robertson.
"I didn't see him after the game, my head was gone, to be honest, I will see him later this week when we get back after the friendlies, they have England in Glasgow tomorrow and we have the USA in Dublin," added Quinn, who is likely to start in midfield tomorrow night.