Martin O’Neill has demanded an improvement from the Republic of Ireland after conceding Georgia were “miles better” during periods of their 1-0 World Cup qualifying win.
Seamus Coleman’s scrappy goal early in the second period in Dublin ultimately edged things for Ireland, who did improve after half-time, but Georgia had previously struck the frame of the goal twice in a superior first-half display.
O’Neill acknowledged that his players showed “great desire” to get back on top in the contest, but he was fully aware that Ireland had a lucky escape and will be expecting a more convincing showing against Moldova on Sunday.
“I expected Georgia to run us close,” he told BBC Sport. “If they had a natural goalscorer in their team they could cause teams lots of problems.
“It was very difficult indeed; they had by miles the better of the first half and then we came into it.
“The players have a great desire to do well. We needed a spark at half-time and they got themselves going. We can play much better than that.”
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