Republic of Ireland goalscorer Sean St Ledger lamented the "sloppy goals" that his team conceded in their 3-1 loss to Croatia, while full-back Stephen Ward bemoaned their bad luck.
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Republic of Ireland goalscorer Sean St Ledger lamented the "sloppy goals" that his team conceded in their 3-1 loss to Group C rivals Croatia in Gdansk. It was the first time that the Irish had conceded three goals in a major tournament, and it left full-back Stephen Ward bemoaning their luck.
Sean St Ledger, Republic of Ireland defender
We conceded sloppy goals which is not like us – usually we're pretty tight. Obviously we knew that in the second half we had to come out and [at that stage] the next goal was important, and they got it, and when you're 3-1 down against a side like Croatia it's always going to be tough. It was unlike us today, the goals that we conceded; I wouldn't have said that Croatia split us open. From our point of view, [they were] poor goals to concede.
It's always nice to get a goal, but we lost the game and that's the most important thing. Whether I scored or not, we lost the game. We've got another two games to go, two huge games. It was always important to try and get off to a good start; that's not happened, but give credit to Croatia, they're a good side with a talented squad.
The fans in the stadium were magnificent, I can't speak highly enough of them [for] the noise beforehand and the noise when we scored, and hopefully they'll stick with us.
Stephen Ward, Republic of Ireland defender
I'm devastated as we played really well in the game but the bit of luck we deserved definitely deserted us. It was a tough game as they're a tough side. It was an uphill battle [in the second half] but they didn't play us off the park as the two teams were fairly evenly matched. The third goal straight after the break was a great header but it was a bit fortunate going in off Shay [Given].
The travelling support was amazing and the lads gave it absolutely everything. [Against Spain] we have nothing to lose so we have to go out and give it everything and hopefully we can get a bit of luck on Thursday and then go into the Italy game with a chance of qualifying.
Jon Walters, Republic of Ireland forward
We're disappointed with the result but we can't dwell on it too long. We've got two massive games coming up and anything can happen – hopefully it happens for us. We conceded very early on and then just before and after half-time which killed us. We have to pick ourselves up and go again.