Martin O’Neill thrilled with Republic of Ireland display

The Republic of Ireland manager was thrilled by the manner of his side's 4-1 win over USA

By Ross Cannon

Martin O’Neill has hailed the Republic of Ireland’s performance against the USA after a week of mixed results.

O’Neill made 11 changes to the starting line-up that lost to Scotland on Friday, giving debuts to Ipswich Town’s David McGoldrick and Derby County’s Cyrus Christie.

A standout second-half performance saw Ireland eventually dispatch the USA 4-1 in a positive end to the year on Tuesday night.

And O’Neill was clearly pleased with the peripheral squad players’ performances on the night.

“I thought the second-half performance was really terrific,” said O’Neill. “To score the goals that we did, some great goals.”

Man of the match Robbie Brady scored the pick of the bunch, with a beautiful left-footed free-kick into the top corner, and O’Neill was keen to give the Dublin-born winger praise.

“Brady was outstanding from left-back,” he said.

“He’s an excellent footballer, a really excellent player and I was really delighted for him.”

Brady wasn’t the only player to receive praise from the Ireland boss, debutant Christie was singled out by O’Neill for turning his performance around on the night.

He said: “I thought Cyrus Christie was excellent. He’s a lot to live up to in that position with Seamus Coleman. He had a brilliant debut, really brilliant.

“I’ve seen a lot of him in recent months and I knew he would do well.

“He made a couple of early mistakes but he got over them but I thought he was outstanding, particularly in the second half.”

While it was a positive result, O’Neill was keen to point out that he is more concerned with the results of qualifiers rather than friendlies.

“The matches that concern me are the games that we play at a competitive level,” he added.

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