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Defeat not a big issue for James McClean as he sees positives in Republic of Ireland display against Serbia

Updated: Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 15:48 | Comments

James McClean had a busy night with defensive responsibilities also a priority for the Wigan winger
James McClean had a busy night with defensive responsibilities also a priority for the Wigan winger

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean is adamant that last night’s 2-1 defeat to Serbia at the Aviva Stadium is not a major blow ahead of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016.

Martin O’Neill suffered a first defeat of his tenure as an own goal from James McCarthy and Filip Dordevic’s composed finish saw the away side take victory.

Speaking to RTÉ after the game, the Wigan winger said: “We pressed them well and they had the majority of the ball. In the second half it paid off a little bit. We stuck to what we were doing. We were pressing but you can only keep it up for so long. You're going to feel tired eventually.

“Credit to them, they are a top side. On the night we have more than matched them. We had more than our fair share of chances but on the night it wasn't to be.

“We will go out and do what we can in every game and get the best result we can every game. I think it looks good for us going into the qualifying campaign, albeit tonight with the defeat.

“We'll take lessons from that. It wasn't a competitive game, when it is we'll put the points on the board.”

“If we can keep continuing doing what we're doing, we will reap the rewards.” - James McClean

McClean was handed his debut in English football by O’Neill during his time with Sunderland and the 62-year-old is showing faith in the former Derry City man once again.

It was a challenging night for McClean but he feels he emerged with credit for his performance.

He said: “I've done more defensive work than going the other way (tonight) but that is all part and parcel of the game. They pushed us back and had a lot of possession so it had to be done.

“We're a young attacking side and I think it bodes well for the future. If we can keep continuing doing what we're doing, we will reap the rewards.

“He (O’Neill) gave me my chance and he seems to be giving me my chance here as well. I'm just looking to do my part and repay him. Hopefully I can do that.

“At the moment I'm feeling good form wise and I thought I did alright. I don't think I have done myself any harm.”

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