Robbie Brady: 'We showed we have a bit about us'

Pain will linger for Irish goal scorer but Brady already looking forward to World Cup campaign

Robbie Brady: “We didn’t have that time to rest up. But you can’t blame anything. If you switch off for a second in these games, the quality of the French team, they can go and hurt us. We’re very disappointed but we’ll go on.” Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Robbie Brady: “We didn’t have that time to rest up. But you can’t blame anything. If you switch off for a second in these games, the quality of the French team, they can go and hurt us. We’re very disappointed but we’ll go on.” Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

 

He has had so much disappointment with his clubs over the past two years that you might think he might develop some sort of immunity but the pain was written all over Robbie Brady’s face as he made his way towards the team bus in Lyon and he seemed almost physically agitated as he spoke about of this short-lived international adventure.

“It’s very disappointing,” he said, while struggling to settle, it seemed, into the conversation. “I’m sad to see it finish, to be honest. We gave ourselves a great chance early on and maybe tiredness showed, not only in legs but with a couple of decisions in the second-half that cost us.

“I can’t fault anyone. There is no blame to be directed on one person. It was a team effort and we were all tired - we all felt it in the second-half. But it is such a proud day, a proud tournament, to be involved in. Every one of the lads gave a great account of themselves throughout. We are really sad to finish now but there are definitely positives to take from it.”

From his own point of view, there were certainly a few of those with Brady getting two goals and producing three performances that should ensure, if there had been ever any doubt, that he will have quite a few top flight options when the dust settles on this tournament and the English transfer market cranks up a bit in a couple of weeks.

“It was definitely in my dreams,” he said when asked if could ever have imagined he might have made such an impact. “For me personally to get a couple of goals, I’ll always be able to look back on them. Not just the goals, there are different moments like at the end, standing in front of the fans; it’s something you’ll never forget.”

And yet it must all be quickly consigned to history with the team now facing another tough looking challenge when it comes to qualifying for the next World Cup. This, he says however, will spur them on in September.

“One hundred per cent. I think we will take some positives from this. We can see that we have some quality players. You hear things about the future not being so bright, but we showed that we have got a bit about us. We will accept nothing less than getting out of our World Cup group and representing the country on the big stage again, and letting so many thousands of Irish fans come and show what they are about.”

Asked about the tiredness that was so evident throughout the side over the closing stages and whether things might have been different if Ireland, like France, had had three more days to rest and prepare, he clearly wanted to avoid getting into anything that might have sounded like he was making excuses.

“I don’t know, maybe,” he said. “But we didn’t. We didn’t have that time to rest up. But you can’t blame anything. If you switch off for a second in these games, the quality of the French team, they can go and hurt us. We’re very disappointed but we’ll go on.”

Exactly who else will remains to be seen. Shay Given and Robbie Keane would not be expected, at this stage, to start another competitive game for Ireland but neither gave any firm indication regarding retirement and it could be that the Oman game in August provides the opportunity for a proper send off in the event that they both do confirm their intention to go.

John O’Shea is another who may choose to concentrate on what remains of his club career but, he says, that is a matter for another day: “Ah look, I’m not going to get involved in that now lads. I’m just really going to enjoy the night tonight with a special group of players, special backroom staff and coaching staff and reflect on a few weeks that have been very special and very different, especially when you have that moment there with the fans. That is something I will cherish for a long time.”

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