Republic of Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman marked his 40th cap with his first international goal, giving Ireland a 1-0 victory over Georgia, but he admitted that his side were far from their best.
Martin O’Neill’s men struggled to make any kind of impression against the visitors in the first-half and were lucky to go into the break level after Georgia hit the woodwork twice.
Ireland did improve in the second-half and a slightly fortuitous goal from Coleman was enough for all three points but big question marks remain after such a poor performance.
Nevertheless, Coleman was happy to open his scoring account for Ireland.
“It was a long time coming and I’m known as an attacking fullback and probably should have had one or two by now but most importantly as everyone will say, it’s the three points tonight,” he said.
“I don’t think we played well tonight by any means and they could have won the game easily but we picked it up a little in the second.
“It’s all about the three points, we know we can improve and I’m happy with the goal.”
Coleman admitted that O’Neill had some harsh words for his side after such a poor first half display.
“The manager gave us a rollicking at half-time which we deserved,” he said. “We didn’t take Georgia lightly, they’re a good side, we knew that.
“But it was by no means good enough by our standards we didn’t play well enough at all. It was slightly better in the second half but there’s a lot more to be done.”
Attention now turns to Sunday’s game with Moldova in the Stadionul Zimbru but Ireland will be without Jeff Hendrick whose yellow card against Georgia sees him suspended.
Robbie Brady is also likely to miss out after he was stretchered off at the Aviva Stadium with a head injury.