When you come up against technically superior opponents like the Republic of Ireland did against Serbia then you have to find a way to combat that if you are to achieve success.
Martin O’Neill decided to use a high energy game and pressurise the classy Serbs all over the pitch.
This tactic worked for quite a period of the match but no team can keep this up for the entire 90 minutes.
If Shane Long had taken his chances when Ireland were on top then Martin O’Neill would have had another victory under his belt but, unfortunately, Long’s misses cost the ‘boys in green’ dearly.
Many Irish fans must have been wishing for the return of top scorer Robbie Keane who would surely have scored with Long’s chances.
Nothing too much can be read into results of international friendlies but O’Neill will have been pleased by the effort put in by some players, most notably our own James McClean who gave a superb display of old fashioned, direct wing play.
Some things might have changed in football over the years but genuine goal scorers will always be high on every manager’s wanted list and O’Neill now knows how difficult it’s going to be to replace Robbie Keane.