Republic of Ireland centre-back Nathan Collins was self-effacing in the wake of scoring a superb goal in the 1-1 Nations League draw against Ukraine, with his personal focus one of continual improvement as a player.

The Burnley defender gave Ireland the lead in Lodz after a mazy run which saw him beat three players, before the defender finished like a centre-forward, curling an effort past Dmytro Riznyk with the outside of his right boot.

The visitors ultimately couldn't hold on and had to settle for a draw which leaves them third in the group ahead of the concluding Nations League fixtures in September.

"I haven't watch it back, I need time to watch it back," he told RTÉ Sport afterwards when asked about his wonder goal. "I took it in the moment, in my stride, I seen what was open and I took it.

"If it was the last minute it would have been great because we could have got the win, but we'll take a draw.

"We'll take that, they're a good team, but we know where we are as well.

"I want to be here for the long run and be the best player I can be. I want to set high standards for myself and be the best there is and keep improving."

The result leaves Ireland on four points from four games, with a trip to Glasgow to come in September, and then the visit of Armenia to Dublin four days later.

Six points from those games are a must if the team have any ambitions of winning Group B1. But, after such a poor start to the campaign, moving away from the bottom of the table is a welcome position for the Boys in Green to be in.

"I said it after Armenia that it can be a good thing, that we need to bounce back," Collins continued.

"We got a bit of stick for it but I think the reaction after the last two games, it shows where we are, it shows as a squad how good we are.

"We still have a long way to go but we know where we're going and we're on the right path.

"I'm very tired, I need sleep," added the man who started all four of Ireland's Nations League games over the last 11 days.