Martin O'Neill strengthens Ireland squad for Uruguay clash

GFX Mexico players on bubble

GFX Mexico players on bubble

He said: "First of all, I was delighted with the game".

"In terms of our preparation for the main game against Austria, I thought it was excellent", O'Neill told reporters.

Seven minutes later they had the chance to double their lead when Ireland captain James McClean fouled Carlos Vela - booked for shoving the Mexico attacker in the back. Mexico were very good, they were good on the ball as befits a side like that.

First-choice players such as Shane Duffy and James McClean looked rusty and error-prone at times, while the likes of Conor Hourihane, Callum O'Dowda, John Egan and David McGoldrick did little to suggest they deserve to graduate from their current status as fringe members of the squad.

Substitute Stephen Gleeson pulled one back on 77 minutes when he followed in a McClean cross and smashed in the rebound from close range. "You can play a number of systems but you have to deal with situations", added O'Neill.

And Gleeson said: "It was a proud night, I don't think the performance was great but on a personal level it's great to get a goal". They're talking Tiger, their best coaches and how top players blagged their way through the dressing room before Stephen tries his hand at our Chipping Challenge. "I thought it was great preparation".

However, Keogh is confident the lessons he and his team-mates will learn from a sobering experience will stand them in good stead, just as they did three years ago at the same venue when a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal beat the Republic 5-1 in another friendly.

"It really is a fantastic stadium and the noise in terms of atmosphere and occasion was very good".

Daryl Murphy now moves on with the rest of the squad to prepare for a friendly against Uruguay, who the Republic play at home on Sunday.

It was a first senior global goal for the Birmingham City player, although he probably would have preferred it to happen in better circumstances.

Nine players come into the panel for the Aviva Stadium friendly against Uruguay on Sunday, after Friday morning's chastening 3-1 defeat to the impressive Mexicans.

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