Harry Arter: ‘Personally I was really disappointed’

Midfielder says that Georgia - 112th-ranked team - are ‘technical, very good players’

Georgia’s Jambul Jighauri in action with Republic of Ireland’s Harry Arter. Photograph: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Georgia’s Jambul Jighauri in action with Republic of Ireland’s Harry Arter. Photograph: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

 

Harry Arter held his hands up and admitted his own performance in Tbilisi simply hadn’t been what he had hoped for but, like his manager, the Bournemouth suggested that Ireland can pick themselves up to earn the win they so desperately want against Serbia on Tuesday night.

As for them, he suggested Ireland playing Georgia had been like Bournemouth playing Manchester City last weekend, with Ireland in the tole of the Premier League underdogs.

“It was similar against Manchester City at the weekend,” said the 27 year-old when asked if he could recall having played in a game where his side had had so little of the possession. “We probably had a little bit more of the ball then but against technical, very good players we would want to impose ourselves a lot better than we did tonight.

“I was really disappointed with the first and second half,” continued the midfielder who only really showed glimpses of what had been wanted from him in the minutes before he was replaced by Aiden McGeady.

“For me it’s a learning curve and I need to learn as quickly as possible to put things right. It’s something that’s a challenge for me and personally I was really disappointed with the first and second half.”

For the team, he says, there is still the opportunity to leapfrog Serbia at the top of the table by beating them in Dublin but clearly the collective performance will have to be transformed from one here which allowed Georgia to dominate Ireland pretty much up until the closing stages.

“Maybe it was too good a start and subconsciously we sat back way too much,” he said. “We wanted to hold onto the lead but you can’t hold on against technically good players. They’re a good side and we knew they were good at keeping the ball. We didn’t get to grips with it at all in the first half, passing wise and off the ball it just wasn’t a good performance.

Later, he observed, there were chances to score a winner. “We can use that as a positive for Tuesday that we probably created the better of the chances without playing well.”

Even if we’d won tonight,” he continued, in a more determined attempt to look on the bright side, “they still would have been top of the group with goal difference and it would have been as critical a game. In a way we have to go and win the game, they might have a different game plan where they can afford a draw so it might suit us.”

Anyway, he added “it’s time to reflect on all of our performances and use it positively.”

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