Everton defender Seamus Coleman has challenged the new generation of Republic of Ireland players to step up to the mark. Martin O’Neill’s side are in a transitional period where a lot of their old stars have retired and been replaced by younger, less experienced players and results have suffered.
Monday night’s Nations League draw with Denmark means the side have won just one out of nine matches in the past calendar year and Coleman has called on his team-mates to stand up and be counted.
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He said: “There’s no secret about it, there’s no way of dressing it up, it’s been a disappointing year, no doubt about that. It’s been a learning curve for myself and some of the other lads who have 40 or 50 caps, too. “We don’t have Richard Dunnes, Robbie Keanes and Damien Duffs to carry us through anymore. We have to take that baton now and maybe some of us haven’t done that strongly enough. “The new lads coming in will have learned a lot from this year. That, in a way, is some kind of positive to take from a negative year. Mentally we can be a lot stronger going into the games in March. That’s how we have to look at it.”