herald

Monday 11 December 2017

St Ledger: We'll bounce back

SEAN ST LEDGER insists that Ireland's players will be counting the days and hours before Thursday's Euro 2012 meeting with World Cup winners Spain so that they can put right the wrongs of Poznan.

St Ledger popped up yet again to score an international goal, when his 19th minute header from Aiden McGeady's cross cancelled out Mario Mandzukic's opener, a goal very similar to the one St Ledger netted in the World Cup game at home to Italy in 2009.

On that occasion his goal put Ireland into the lead in a game they'd go on to draw 2-2, but last night ended in defeat and misery.

But St Ledger says he's ready for the quick turnaround for the next game.

Tough

"We have to put it out of our minds right away. The good thing about tournament football is that there's another game only a few days away," St Ledger told the Evening Herald in Poznan.

"You don't have to spend three or four months thinking about it and mulling it over.

"It's a tough game for us, against the world champions and European champions, the hardest game you could get, really.

"But we are looking forward to it, these are the games you want to be involved in.

"Last night was hugely disappointing for us, but I am sure we will bounce back.

"They were sloppy, messy goals to concede and we're not happy.

"They came from set pieces and a breaking ball.

"Small things went against us, there was a foul on Stephen Ward just before their second goal, the third one went in off the post and off the keeper. So there was a bit of luck on Croatia's part and the timing of the goals really hurt us as well.

"If we had gone in at half time with the scores at 1-1 I think we could have gone on to win the game, but getting that second goal just before the break gave them a real psychological boost and it was going to be hard after that.

"Then for them to get a third when they did made it more of an uphill task.

"Maybe it was a case of the better team winning as Croatia are a very good side. But Shay didn't have that many saves to make in the game, I don't think Croatia caused us too many problems in the match.

"They are a quality side and Modric is a brilliant player, but overall I didn't think the scoreline reflected the game honestly."

St Ledger was pleased with his own night in terms of the goal he scored.

"It was a bit like my goal against Italy in the World Cup qualifiers," said St Ledger.

Glad

"I wasn't meant to be going up for the free kick. But Richard Dunne just said 'go on up' and I had feeling I might get on the end of something.

"It was a great ball in by Aiden and I was glad to get on the end of it.

"At that stage we were on a high and I thought we could go on and win the game, but we couldn't do it."

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