Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill insists that his side can learn from defeat after they lost 2-0 to World Cup bound France in Paris.

Ireland were well beaten on the night by an experienced French team that dominated the game in every area of the pitch.

However O’Neill was keen to focus on the positives with Derrick Williams, Shaun Williams and Shamrock Rovers player Graham Burke all making their international debuts.

Olivier Giroud scored from close range and Colin Doyle's mistake handed Nabil Fekir a second before the half-time whistle sounded on a night when Didier Deschamps' side turned in a slick display.

While Ireland struggled to get a foot to the ball in the first half, there were some improvements after the break and O’Neill focused on that, while admitting that his need to hold onto possession of the ball better.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "They are a powerful side, there’s no question about that and we were second best all evening I felt and they will be one of the favourites to win the World Cup.

"Personally speaking I’m delighted with the test because it was great for some of our younger players to experience that sort of atmosphere which they wouldn’t have done before.

"We had a League of Ireland debutant which is great news and those are the sort of positive things about it.

"But at the end of the day we chased the game and we chased the ball but when we get it, we just have to deal with it better."

O’Neill was disappointed with the nature of both of the goals that Ireland conceded but did point to the fact that France were able to bring both Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann off the bench in the second half to illustrate the gap between the teams.

"We defended strongly," he insisted. "It was really disappointed to concede from the corner kick and the second goal probably could have been avoided but you’re sitting there at 38 maybe 39 minutes thinking ‘if we can get into half-time’.

"That being said they were very good, they’re an excellent side and we can learn from that.

"Sometimes you just have to accept that the other side are better and they can deal with the ball. It’s when we had it, we didn’t use it well enough, we gave it away sloppily I thought.

"Even though it was a massive test for us tonight considering some of the players who would have no experience at all against players like Griezman and Pogba coming on...... I think that we can learn from this."