Roy Keane says Ireland just need to keep their minds on doing the basics well as they prepare for a Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in which they will face three difficult away trips in their first four matches.
Keane, assistant to Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, suffered his first defeat as a part of the Irish management setup at the beginning of March.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Soccer Republic, he said: “We had a disappointment [against Serbia], and I suppose we had both forgotten how hard it is to lose a game having been out of the game for so long.
“But it is all learning for us. We are getting to know the players, constantly looking at them.
"It has been enjoyable but we know that the hard work will start next September.”
There is plenty of optimism ahead of Ireland’s campaign, despite a tough draw, but Keane believes Ireland need to keep the focus on going from match to match instead of getting too far ahead of themselves.
He said: “It won’t be easy, it is a very tough group. We need to take a step back and focus on being well organised. Win football matches and the league table will take care of itself.
"We’d love to qualify and if we do the basics right and win a few matches then we will have a great chance.”
"If we do the basics right and win a few matches then we will have a great chance"
But Keane is not shying away from the challenge either, despite a tricky start to the pool that will see Ireland face Georgia, Germany and Scotland away from home in their opening four matches.
“We have got a tough start. Three of the first four games are away from home and we know what it’s like in football, you need that little bit of momentum.
"There are tough games ahead but hopefully Germany and the other teams will know they are in for a tough game when they play us.”
Keane re-iterated the management team’s commitment to keep a close eye on the SSE Airtricity League with a view to possibly giving players from the domestic scene opportunities in the Irish squad.
Keane added: "There are lads doing well in the League of Ireland. We have seen it over the years, there have been who have been selected for the Irish senior squad and hopefully, if Martin particularly sees someone he fancies, then they’ll get a chance."