/ Soccer

Stephen Ward admits Ireland players are still adjusting to new regime after Turkey defeat

Updated: Monday, 26 May 2014 13:53 | Comments

Turkey got the better of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium
Turkey got the better of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium

Video

Audio

Stephen Ward admitted the Republic of Ireland players are still adjusting to manager Martin O’Neill after the 2-1 defeat to Turkey in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Ireland squandered some good opportunities and were punished by the visitors through goals from Ahmet Illhan Ozek and substitute Tarik Camdal as O’Neill saw his side go down to consecutive home losses despite Jon Walters' late strike.

The remaining summer friendly matches will give O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane the chance to work with the players over an extended period and the defender is confident the results will change.

He told RTÉ Sport: “You can take as many positives as you can but as we all say in football, it's all about winning.

“It's a transitional period. We are getting to know the management staff and they are getting to know us. We're trying to get ourselves ready for September.

“I thought we played some really attractive football. We got in behind them, we got balls into the box and we created a lot of chances. We've probably been hit by two sucker-punches by them. They've not really created a whole lot.

“It's just unfortunate both of their chances have gone in and we've only been able to score one at the other end. It's disappointment on one hand, but if we keep playing like that our results will turn around.”

“It's hard for managers sometimes. They don't get to see us a lot” 

Ward attempted to play down the fact that the matches come at the end of the league season and added that the players are doing what they can to impress the former Sunderland boss.

Tiredness should not be a factor for the squad according to Ward, who has been linked with a move permanent move to Brighton or Middlesbrough from Wolves today, and he thinks a positive result in the remaining matches can give the squad a lift ahead of the start of the qualifiers for Euro 2016.

The 28-year-old continued: “It just didn't seem to be our day. We didn't put the chances away. It's a period we need to get onto the same sort of page as how the manager wants us to play.

“We're slowly but surely getting there and performances like that will turn into wins.

“As you can see, everyone has come in raring to go. We put in a good performance tonight and every day on the training pitch we are learning what the manager wants from us.

“It's all about the qualifiers in September but if we can get some positive results in the next couple of games before them, it'll be a real coup and put us on a real high going into the business end and games that really matter.

“It's hard for managers sometimes. They don't get to see us a lot.

“Lads come from all sorts of background and all sorts of clubs. They play different ways so this is a vital period for them (O'Neill and Keane) and for us as players.

“That's why the lads are buzzing to get in and raring to go today.

“It's unfortunate we couldn't get the result our performance really deserved. We will have a good week of training together and kick on for the game against Italy.”

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use