Seamus Coleman has hit back at Keith Andrews’ criticism of the Republic of Ireland team – and insists that the Irish players remain square behind manager Martin O’Neill.
Coleman, who made a return from injury in Everton’s win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, sat out Ireland’s drawn game with Denmark and the defeat to Wales in the Nations League.
O’Neill and Ireland have shipped some flak for their recent series of results.
“We’re going through a tough time,” said Coleman.
“As players, we’re all together. We want to be as passionate as we can for our country.
“We are all behind the manager. I said it here at club level, sometimes players get away with murder. It always seems to be put on the manager, that’s something that really bugs me at club level.
“I do think we are going through a transition period, we are playing lads from the Championship and they are all coming into the team and trying to understand what international football is about.
“We have to use these Nations League games to get us ready for March, which is important.”
Former Ireland midfielder Andrews was sharp in his comments of the Irish team, referring to the side as ‘clueless’ at one point and calling for O’Neill to be replaced.
However, Coleman was having none of it.
The Killybegs man said: ”Keith has been part of teams himself that could have been questioned at times. It’s very easy from a pundit’s position
“I’ve to bite my tongue at times. Keith has got a job to do. He has really taken to punditry and might have been trying to make a name for himself by being a little bit harsh the other night.
“That’s his job. When he was a player it was his job to get on the ball and make things happen and at times he didn’t do that. It’s difficult.
“Sometimes it’s hard to take that criticism, Keith would say the same when he was a player – he got plenty of criticism and would have agreed it was hard to take.
“We need to give the fans something to be proud of and 100pc at the minute, our performances have not been good enough but come March we’re hoping to give the country some big nights. This group of players has done that at times.”Tags: