Lawrence takes confidence from thriller against Italy

Lawrence takes confidence from thriller against Italy

In the wake of Ireland's 2-2 draw against Italy on Saturday, Irish winger Liam Lawrence reflected on a night of high drama at Croke Park.
11th Oct 2009

 

In the wake of Ireland's 2-2 draw against Italy on Saturday, Irish winger Liam Lawrence reflected on a night of high drama at Croke Park.
The result ensured Italy topped the group while Ireland claimed second spot and a place in next month's play-offs for the World Cup finals.

 

Lawrence, making his first international competitive debut, was instrumental throughout the 90 minutes, notably in setting up the opener for Glenn Whelan.

 

"It was a good experience, against the world champions, it was a good game for me to get under belt and see what I could do, I didn't feel out of place, we were so close to beating them and I thought we did well," said Lawrence.

 

 

"We're just disappointed really, we were so close, for them to score when they did was a big blow, I thought we did fantastic on the night and we were unlucky not to get the win.

 

 

"Earlier in the week it was a bit of surprise but I just got my head down took in training and took it in my stride and I thought I did quite well.

 

"We had not worked on that specific move, but we had worked on things in training, doing short free-kicks and corners. Myself, Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews spoke before and thankfully it worked.

 

 

"It's fantastic to reach the play-offs but we were close to taking them to the wire. Had we got the win, I think they might have felt the pressure and it could have been a different story."

 

 

With Damien Duff restored to the squad having missed Saturday's game with a calf injury, competition for the wide berths continues to intensify. Lawrence did his chances of retaining his place for Wednesday's final group game against Montenegro no harm with his display against the Italians.

 

 

He said: "There's competition which is good for the team and the squad. We've got to keep our heads down and keep our places now. I was a bit nervous before the game, it was the biggest game of my career but once the whistle goes, that goes out the window.

 

 

"The Montenegro game still means something to me and the lads. We still want to win all of the games that we play. It's another qualifier and chance to impress and stake your claim for a place. We are not going to say ‘that's us done, now we have made the play-offs, we want to go and win the game."