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'We're gutted by this loss but we will be sharper'

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Jayson Molumby

Jayson Molumby

SPORTSFILE

Jayson Molumby

A defeat on his senior international debut and Covid restrictions denying family and friends the opportunity to watch from the stands.

No wonder that Jayson Molumby was a downbeat figure when he stopped to speak after a 1-0 loss at home to Finland in what was the pinnacle of the Waterford man's career.

But the Brighton midfielder insists that the side will be fitter and shaper when the real battle comes away to Slovakia next month in the race for Euro 2020 qualification.

"Taking my emotions out of it, the team is just a bit gutted to be honest because we felt we probably controlled the game for large parts and maybe then just weren't clinical enough," Molumby said after wining his first cap, in midfield alongside Harry Arter and Robbie Brady.

"We had some decent chances so we're just gutted, really.

"It was huge for me. Obviously there were a few nerves and it was a bit of a surreal moment because I worked hard for it and it's been my dream to play for Ireland.

"I told my family and friends on Saturday that I was going to be playing and it was a huge moment for them.

"They would definitely love to be here and supporting me, but equally they were supporting me as much from home," he added.

"It's a step up. I don't think I could test myself really as it was my first 90 and I am not as sharp or fit as I'd like to be, and it's the same with the rest of the boys.

"I felt we controlled the game for large parts. I felt we moved the ball well and at times we had some good passages of play, and probably it's just the final ball and being a bit more clinical, having that cutting edge.

"It probably comes back to match fitness. A lot of the boys haven't even played a full 90, for myself that was my first 90 in about six or seven weeks, little things like that."

Slovakia await and Molumby, awaiting news from Brighton on whether he will be loaned out again, feels sharpness will come.

"People aren't fit, people probably aren't 100 per cent where they should be, which is understandable," he said.

"Hopefully the boys go back and everyone gets in good minutes, ready to go, and obviously there will be more time to reflect and analyse the games, and see what we could have done better, and more time with Stephen as well, just to go through things."