STEPHEN Ward believes that the Ireland management team are still trying to get the Irish players in tune with their way of playing.
Sunday’s friendly defeat at home to Turkey was only the fourth game played by Ireland in the seven months that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane have been at the helm and with just one win from the four games it’s clear that some work still needs to be done.
“They are moulding us here and there at the moment and I’m sure over the next few weeks they’d do it and come September hopefully we’ll be close to the finished article and ready to go,” said Ward, who started at left back against the Turks.
“With a new qualifying campaign coming up and it being early days with a new management team, this is going to help, give us all a chance to get on the same page, get to know their philosophy how they want us to play.”
Time is something that O’Neill and Keane will have for the first time since their appointment, with the Irish squad in camp for 20 days, and after Sunday’s defeat instead of going straight back to their clubs, it was back to work on the training ground with Ireland.
“That’s a real positive about this trip,” says Ward. “We are here for a period of time and I’m sure they’ll let us know the game plan and we’ve got a week to work on things before the Italy game. Sometimes it can be difficult in playing a game when you are away for a couple of months. So this is vital preparation for September. The first couple of days have gone pretty well, we were really disappointed to lose the game to Turkey, hopefully we get a good week’s training and on the Italy game.”