Mick McCarthy: “The first thing I said to the players in the dressing room after the game was what a belligerent, stubborn, hard working, tough, horrible bunch you have turned out to be and I love you and I am proud of you because you need all those qualities to be a good team. It is lovely to have.” Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy hailed the “belligerent, stubborn and hard working” qualities of his “horrible bunch” of players after a determined 1-1 dra(...)

  Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth breaks through against Newport Gwent Dragons. The outhalf scored a try but came out on the losing side. Photograph: Simon King/Inpho

Dragons 25 Leinster 22Matt O’Connor has six days to salvage Leinster’s season from suffering the ignominy of being effectively over by mid-April.Their(...)

 Dragons’ Jack Dixon scores his side’s second try in comeback victory over Leinster. Photo: Ian Cook/Inpho

Dragons 25 Leinster 22Matt O’Connor has six days to salvage Leinster’s season from suffering the ignominy of being effectively over by mid-April.Their(...)

Ireland fans Neil Cotter and Mark May from Glasnevin with Polish fans in Poznan during Euro 2012. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Next Sunday night, the Republic of Ireland take on Poland in a Uefa European Championship qualifier in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. It is the perfect momen(...)

Seán St Ledger previously said he would consider a move to the League of Ireland in order to get back playing again. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO Seán St Ledger previously said he would consider a move to the League of Ireland in order to get back playing again. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Republic of Ireland defender Seán St Ledger is bidding to relaunch his career in Major League Soccer, going on trial at DC United after a lengthy spel(...)

Brian McCarthy has worked with the Ireland team since 2003, but has decided to pursue a new challenge in Sydney. Photograph: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

It started simply enough. Brian McCarthy was a school teacher and volunteer coach in Kerry who, inspired in his own youth by the genius of players lik(...)

Nottingham Forest’s Andy Reid: has undergone surgery to try and address a persistent groin injury. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Andy Reid’s injury-blighted season has taken another turn for the worst with Stuart Pearce revealing that the 32-year-old midfielder has had surgery (...)

Shane Long (second from left) is congratulated by his Southampton team-mates after opening the scoring in the FA Cup third-round replay against Ipswich Town at   Portman Road. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ipswich 0 Southampton 1Having produced what several experts described as the perfect away performance to beat Manchester United in the Premier League (...)

 Daryl Murphy tussles with Victor Wanyama during Ipswich’s FA Cup third round draw with Southampton. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

There was a time, not so long ago, when Daryl Murphy became accustomed to life in Darren Bent’s shadow. He was the bargain buy from Waterford Town (...)

The Republic of Ireland management team of Roy Keane (deputy manager) and Martin O’Neill (manager). The current ranking does not seem to tally with the standard of football and results being produced by O’Neill’s side. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Republic of Ireland have been leapfrogged by Gabon in the latest Fifa world rankings. Martin O’Neill’s side now lie in 65th position, sandwiched (...)