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'We were disappointed with the Ukraine draw… it shows our progress', says Dara O’Shea

The Republic of Ireland's Dara O'Shea during the Nations League B Group 1 match against Ukraine at the LKS Stadium in Lodz, Poland. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Dara O'Shea believes that the sky's the limit for his international defensive partner Nathan Collins as the West Brom man has called on the Irish side to take the momentum from their positive finish to the June window into next season.

O'Shea played alongside Collins at the back and could only admire the move and finish from Collins to put Ireland in front in Łódź, disappointment that Ireland did not hold on to win but happiness with the display overall.

"It was unbelievable but I'm no surprised that he scored it. As soon as he picked the ball up I knew that he was only going forward. The finish was spectacular, so fair play to him," O'Shea said of Collins.

"Nathan is a talent and a credit to himself and is only getting better. He's got to keep this momentum going, ride the wave that he is on and God knows where it can take him.

"It was a great performance and we're disappointed that we didn't get the win in the end. This goes to show that to be disappointed with an away draw is progress for the nation.

"Going into games, we don't want to draw them, we want to win them. This result and performance will give us momentum and although it was a draw there were some excellent passages.

"I felt that we were unlucky to draw. As a group we know where we want to be, we want to be at the top. We won't settle for second. So we can deal with what is in front of us," he added.

O'Shea missed a chunk of the season with an ankle injury picked up on international duty, in the World Cup loss in Portugal, and he's keen to do better with an injury-free season next term.

"Tuesday night was the first time that I felt back to my best. It was the first game that I felt that my ankle felt okay. I felt fit, I felt ready to go so it was positive for me and it was nice to finally feel that I was back to myself.

"To do it in an Ireland shirt was very positive. I've got a massive season coming up in August. Last season was disappointing through injury so I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running and getting back to myself with the club.

"Us as players, especially myself and Darragh Lenihan, we didn't get a lot of game time in this camp so we had to be ready.

"I think we knew that our chance was coming up with Shane Duffy suspended, John Egan not traveling for personal reasons so we had to be ready. As players, you want to play well for your country and step up to the mark."

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