O'Shea - Room to improve

Irish skipper encouraged by display against Serbia

John O'Shea: Pleased with the way Ireland played against Serbia but says they can still improve

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Republic of Ireland captain John O'Shea is confident the team can build on the performance they produced in Wednesday's goalless draw against Serbia.

Giovanni Trapattoni fielded an experimental line-up in Belgrade, following Shay Given's recent retirement from international football and with Robbie Keane and Damien Duff given leave of absence.

But it was a test the Republic's players emerged from unscathed, considering the pain still runs deep following their disappointing Euro 2012 finals campaign in which they lost all three matches.

Trapattoni even altered his formation from his preferred 4-4-2, and O'Shea believes there were plenty of positive signs ahead of the opening World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on September 7th.

"We needed to get that (the Euros) out of our system," said O'Shea, who was wearing the skipper's armband for the first time given the list of absentees.


"This was always going to be a difficult place to come to, Serbia away, and playing with a newish system and with some new lads.

"But I thought James McCarthy was fantastic, coming in and doing a great job, and James McClean as well playing in an unfamiliar position.

"We were quite comfortable in the game, and we caused them some early problems, although we would have liked to have created a few more clear-cut chances.

"We have room to improve, particularly after having only one day to work on that system, which some lads play at their clubs and some don't."