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Martin O'Neill disappointed with Irish response to numerical advantage

Updated: Saturday, 07 Jun 2014 09:31 | Comments

Martin O'Neill said Ireland had not dealt with problems as well as they had done against Italy
Martin O'Neill said Ireland had not dealt with problems as well as they had done against Italy

Republic manager Martin O'Neill has said he is pleased with aspects of his side’s 1-1 draw against Costa Rica, but disappointed with the way his players handled a numerical advantage once Giancarlo Gonzalez was sent off.

Gonzalez saw red after a clash with Ireland's goal-scorer Kevin Doyle. Thereafter, Coasta Rica levelled through a Celso Borges penalty.

"We got a really good goal through Kevin Doyle and did really fine in the first half of the match, dealing with anything they threw at us reasonably comfortably,” O’Neill said after the game.

"Then they had the man sent off and I don't know if we got casual, but we had a really poor spell in the first 15 minutes of the second half culminating with the penalty.

"It took us time to get to grips and they played much better with the 10 men than the 11.

"It was their last chance before the World Cup and we had a few problems we didn't deal with in the manner we did against Italy.”

"It took us time to get to grips and they played much better with the 10 men than the 11" - Martin O'Neill

O’Neill, who made nine changes to the side which drew 0-0 with Italy last Saturday, conceded that these may have upset Ireland’s rhythm.

"Obviously I made a lot of changes in the team and that may have led to us being a bit disjointed. I felt in that 15-minute spell, we should have got out and closed them down a bit better than we did."

Costa Rica launch their campaign against Uruguay on 14 June. If they are to prosper, they will need 21-year-old Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, who spent last season on loan at Olympiacos, to turn in the kind of individual display he did against Ireland.

O'Neill said: "He was really excellent in the second half - but that didn't come as any surprise because of his exploits in the Champions League, and he looks as if he has a really grand future.

"Costa Rica will look to him as a main player coming up and I thought their second-half performance with 10 men was really excellent."

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