herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Smith upbeat after Turkey draw in Regions Cup

Republic of Ireland amateur boss, Gerry Smith, was in bullish form after watching his side take a point from their opening UEFA Regions Cup against Turkey yesterday afternoon in Braga.

The Irish had plenty of chances to take the full three points on offer and played the last quarter of the game with an extra man after Turkey were reduced to 10 men.

Smith said: "It's still all to play for. We have one point and there are still six to play for. If we had lost, it would have been curtains."

Smith singled out the Turkey goalkeeper, Mustafa Koseci, who produced a string of fine saves to deny the Irish. "Their keeper was man of the match," said Smith. "He made four or five brilliant saves."

The Irish boss was happy that his squad came through the game without any injuries and with no yellow cards.

"We will take stock," added Smith. "We will look at the injuries and the fatigue of the players. It's important to go into the next game without injuries or yellow cards. The heat made it hard going."

The Irish take on Serbia in the next game tomorrow evening. The Serbs top the group after they got the better of Russia and if they manage to defeat the Irish, it will be the end of the road for Smith's troops.

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