NOT a press conference goes by these days without Republic of Ireland Martin O’Neill mentioning the need for his players to be better in possession. And yet, with each passing game the side becomes less impressed with the idea of keeping the ball. Thursday night’s scoreless draw with Northern Ireland was another stark example of the ball being treated like a hot potato, compounded on the night by how well Michael O’Neill’s players acquitted themselves and dominated their hosts. After his post-match press conference, O’Neill spoke to daily newspaper reporters about the enduring chasm that exists between the training field and match day. “It’s something we have talked about for some considerable time,” said the Ireland manager. “It’s not to do with tactics, it is to do with taking the game by the scruff of the neck and being that character to do that. I think that’s it, taking a bit more responsibility for a situation and being able to deal with it. “Seamus Coleman may have mentioned earlier about translating what we do in training into the big game. “The training has gone exceptionally well this week but it’s being able to translate that and take that decent play,… Read full this story
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