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'Growing Ireland' offer silver lining for O'Neill

"We should have had the game out of sight," said Martin O'Neill, who was still proud of his Republic of Ireland side, while Sweden boss Eric Hamrén was grateful for his team's late revival.

Martin O'Neill is pleased to see his players growing into international football
Martin O'Neill is pleased to see his players growing into international football ©AFP/Getty Images

Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland manager
We should have had the game out of sight at half-time but we just couldn't get the goal and we deservedly went ahead in the second half.

These players want to play and they are desperate to play, they're a great bunch to work with. We're disappointed to have conceded an equaliser but I can't fault their performance, they were terrific.

It was a great goal. Seamus Coleman did brilliantly and Wes was off balance but it was a great hit. Great goal.

We have two very, very tough matches coming against two sides that are very classy but if I can take anything from the performance today, it was that the players looked accomplished. We have the desire but the players are also growing into international football.

Hoolahan bemoans unlucky Irish

Wes Hoolahan, Republic of Ireland midfielder and man of the match
It was a good performance and we look forward to Belgium on Saturday. Seamus did brilliantly for the goal, it was a great ball. 

We started on the front foot and maybe fatigue set in a little bit as the game went on but overall it was a very good performance from us.

Eric Hamrén, Sweden coach
Ireland did a good job of disturbing us, making it difficult for our back four, winning first and second balls. That's how they created the chances they did in the first half. In the first half in particular, our own attacking play was not good. But full credit to Ireland for how they kept us under pressure and didn't give us time.

After their goal we got things together more the way I wanted. We passed quicker, we made better use of moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, we made better use of our left-back Martin Olsson. It was also from that side that many of our second-half chances were created.

Mikael Lustig has got a groin injury. How bad it is is hard to say – we will know better tomorrow.

Andreas Isaksson, Sweden goalkeeper
We're disappointed. I feel disappointed we didn't take all three points today. We didn't really play to our potential in the first half. We played a bit passively in the first half which makes it difficult to play football.

I think [after going behind] we started playing more freely, as we knew we had to be a bit more aggressive. Maybe that was the problem in the first half. Now we just need to recharge our batteries. We still have the same desire.