A defiant Callum O'Dowda said the "togetherness" in this Republic of Ireland group is like nothing he's ever experienced after Martin O'Neill's men ended a nightmare week with an encouraging draw in Poland.

The Bristol City midfielder was excellent in Wroclaw, showing composure and quality in a central midfield role alongside Shaun Williams and Jeff Hendrick.

O'Dowda teed up Aiden O'Brien for the opening goal with a wicked bending cross and - despite the hosts nabbing a leveller late through Mateusz Klich - the 23-year-old took a lot of heart from the team's performance.

"I don't think it had an impact at all," he said when asked about the controversy that's engulfed the camp in recent days.

"The only thing I can comment on is our togetherness. No one sees it from outside but I tell you what, the togetherness we have in the group is pretty brilliant. 

"In the Wales game, we knew we should have done a lot better. That was a very frustrating night. I feel like we let a lot of people down. Tonight, although it was a draw, I felt it was a better performance.

"What a group I've come into. Two years ago [when he was first called up], I didn't expect it to be like this. I've played with really good players with togetherness but here it's different."

O'Dowda usually operates out wide but he looked right at home in the middle of the park where his vision and ability to take people on paid dividends.

Airing his enjoyment in the role, he also credited O'Neill and assistant Roy Keane with improving his game.

"I want to get on the ball and drive at people, take people on," O'Dowda added.

"From a central position, it gives me more of that directness, to get past a few, open it up. 

"Playing in a central position is what the gaffer here and Roy have put into my game. I've never played in a central position but they've helped me with certain areas."