Ireland captain Séamus Coleman has admitted he was “disappointed” with the loss against France at the Aviva Stadium last night.
The Killybegs man played a captain’s role as he directed matters from the back against a hugely talented France side.
The 34-year-old only returned to the side having been rested for last week’s Latvia friendly.
But he worked his socks off only for Ireland to lose 1-0 after a mistake by Josh Cullen in clearing from defence.
“We performed very well. We are disappointed,” he remarked. “There was such a great atmosphere. The crowd were magnificent.
“France were holding on at the end. But we get no points from that.
“We played really well. We have to take the positives from that. This display will put us in good stead going into the summer games.
“This is the marker that we have set. We have to carry on the momentum now. And that’s what we have to do. It’s not just about playing France under the lights.
“We showed good discipline. We worked so hard. We were knocking on the door.
“I thought the header from Nathan Collins was in. On another night, that one goes in.”
Once again Coleman remarked how proud he was each time he lined out for his country and said the team are eager to go again.
“We kept them to limited chances. We are all disappointed in the dressing-room. But there is such a sense of togetherness in the group.
“We all love playing for the national team. And it’s something that I never take for granted. It’s the best feeling in the world.”