Clarets represented on global duty for both Wales and Republic of Ireland


Martin O'Neill's promised in the lead up to Saturday's crucial World Cup Qualifying fixture against Georgia that the key to victory lay in the Republic of Ireland keeping hold of ball against the side from the Caucasus region.

It had all started so well for the visitors when defender Shane Duffy headed them in front, but Valeri Kazaishvili's equaliser 11 minutes before the break was no more than his side deserved, and it was they who looked the more likely winners until O'Neill threw caution to the win.

As for them, he suggested Ireland playing Georgia had been like Bournemouth playing Manchester City last weekend, with Ireland in the tole of the Premier League underdogs.

Walters also hit a rising drive that stung the palms of Makaridze, but Ireland's push for a late victor lacked conviction and O'Neill will hope his side are in better form in Tuesday's crunch match at Aviva Stadium.

"If you analyse it in terms of chances we've had four really good chances to win the game".

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Makaridze ensured the scores stayed level at the break with a brilliant reflex save just before half-time when Duffy met Robbie Brady's corner with a far-post header.

"But tonight we didn't perform anywhere near good enough".

"Regardless of the result tonight, that game was always going to be critical", Arter said.

"We've got to play some football and it's probably more important because of these conditions that we use possession well and we don't just keep kicking it long and kicking it away to the Georgian team and giving them a chance to come at us and attack us with the ball".

"We'll have better nights; hopefully one of those will be on Tuesday".

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A free-kick ended up with Aiden McGeady ten yards out, but the Sunderland winger got his feet under the ball and blazed it over in the third minute of injury time.

So, O'Donoghue has to put the tough questions to them at tough times and he can't win because, if he asks them, the squad are unhappy.

After Ireland's goal, they defended as if it was the 90th minute for the remainder of the game.

Duffy went close to restoring Ireland's lead on the cusp of half-time, but the visitors' performance thereafter was poor, with stray passes and a lack of bite in midfield allowing Georgia an easy ride as they picked up their fourth draw of the campaign.

"I was really disappointed with the first and second half", continued the midfielder who only really showed glimpses of what had been wanted from him in the minutes before he was replaced by Aiden McGeady. We need to put a performance in for the fans and make it a big atmosphere against a good Serbian side.

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"They're a lot better than what people think when you look at their results through the group".