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18th Nov 2014

O’Neill praises debutants and a certain Mr Brady after USA thumping

Faith in youth paid off tonight for Ireland

Conan Doherty

David McGoldrick, Cyrus Christie, Robbie Brady.  Three men who impressed a nation.  Three men who impressed their manager.

Martin O’Neill was full of praise for his two debutants after a fantastic 4-1 victory over USA at the Aviva Stadium but he was also thrilled at the performance of Robbie Brady from left back who really showed that he is a viable option in that position going forward.

David McGoldrick won the crowd in his first game in Ireland colours with two deft assists and O’Neill believes that he and Christie were big additions.

“I think the positive aspect for me, obviously we had a number of decent performances, but to add a wee bit of extra quality.  I think that Cyrus Christie and David McGoldrick had two excellent debuts for us and that epitomises what we’re attempting to do.  We’re trying to create a squad of decent calibre and quality and of players that are not found wanting at this level.

“It was important for us to know.  For instance, Seamus Coleman got an injury and didn’t play games and we essentially had to fill in and play a midfielder at full back.  And now Cyrus Christie has come on tonight and, if that’s anything to go by which it should be because he plays like for Derby County, then that’s a nice option to have at this stage.

“David has missed all pre-season for Ipswich and I think, in the games I’ve seen him play – and I might be totally wrong on this – he is getting fitter.  Tonight, I thought he was getting a little bit tired as the game went on but he made a contribution which was important.

“And, of course, fellow debutant Cyrus Christie was really outstanding going forward for us.”

Cyrus Christie with Timmy Chandler 18/11/2014

Robbie Brady though stole the show with two second half goals from the other flank, the second of which a stunning free kick.  Brady was an outlet all night for the Irish men as he drove up and down the flank and, whilst O’Neill acknowledges that he has a bit to learn, it is a prospect which excites the boss.

“Brady was outstanding from left back.  I think Robbie himself would say about how he sees the game, the whole game from left back is all in front of him.  He has things to improve on, as I was saying to him, he knows that himself but he is an excellent footballer, a really excellent player.  He has a great attitude as well and I was really delighted for him.

“You know, he was in such confident mood, I felt that he would score from that free kick.  Those are easy words now but I thought he would score from that.  That was his second goal and for him to be following up – to score from left back is one thing – but there he was, with five minutes to go in the game, on a hat-trick from left back.  He was great.”

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