Martin O’Neill believes what got the better of his team in the Round of 16 is the fact that his players were on the pitch playing second game in a space of 5 days in comparison to the French team which had a week’s gap ahead of the encounter.
According to O’ Neill, having bigger recovery time means you would have more gas in the tank walking into the game and that, in the latter stages, makes a difference as you can beat the opposition in pace which France did.
The Green army were struggling to keep up with the pace of France after the break which helped the latter snatch the advantage and score the leveller and the equaliser back to back to turn the situation on its head.
O’Neill though did not just keep stressing on the lack of energy being the only reason for the game to change like that. The coach also talked about the mistakes of his players and suggested that there were flaws in the execution of his defenders too which led to the scoring of the leveller and the winner.
O’Neill also disagreed that the pre quarter final round was perhaps the farthest the Republic of Ireland could have gone anyway and so, it was not a matter of regret to lose at that stage to a side which was better skilled.
While, he acknowledged the superiority of France and the likeliness of them even coming out as the Champions later, O’Neill said he thought the match was there to be won for Ireland as the pressure had almost begun to build on the Les Blues and they just had to be held for a little while more for the panic to creep into them.