sport

O'Neill rues missed chances

Martin O'Neill was satisfied with Republic of Ireland's performance but left to bemoan a lack of cutting edge following a 2-1 defeat by Turkey.

Jon Walters did manage to score at the Aviva Stadium in 78th minute but at that stage Ireland were already 2-0 down and they could not retrieve an equaliser in the closing stages.

Ireland carved out a number of chances in the first half and Shane Long had a strong penalty appeal waved away after just five minutes, leaving O'Neill frustrated with the final result.

However, there were still positives for the manager to take, not least from the lively display of Norwich City's Wes Hoolahan.

"In many aspects it was really a terrific performance," O'Neill told Sky Sports.

"We played some marvellous football. Little Hoolahan played excellently and the wide players got into some great positions.

"We should have had the game well and truly wrapped up before half-time.

"We have to have, hopefully a number of players, who can score a goal.

"I have said to the boys in the dressing room that any player who can score a decent quota of goals must be worth about 134million, so why not be one of those players?

"Just go and get yourself into positions and get a few goals. It's pretty difficult, but it's not absolutely exceptionally difficult."

Ireland face World Cup qualifiers Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal in the next few weeks and O'Neill hopes they can push on from a solid showing against Turkey.

He said: "Of course I am desperately disappointed tonight but not downhearted in that sense (looking to the future) because there is a good spirit within.

"There is something to work on. We have tried to create, to get it down and play, and we should have won the game.

"We have three really difficult games coming up. I am obviously looking forward to them but it would have been nice to have won this game in front of the home fans just to carry that wee bit of extra confidence into those other matches."