Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ireland v Oman

Wednesday, 03 September 2014, 19:45

International Match

Aviva Stadium

Last Game

Rep Ireland 1 - 5 Portugal

Wednesday, 11 June 2014, 01:00

International Match

Cox - Republic future bright

Simon Cox is hoping there will be 'exciting times ahead' for Republic of Ireland after seeing a new generation of players come through.

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 16:29 Post Comment

Simon Cox: Predicting bright future for Republic of Ireland

Simon Cox: Predicting bright future for Republic of Ireland

The 25-year-old Nottingham Forest striker has played much of his recent football for his country as an auxiliary midfielder, but was handed a starting berth alongside Shane Long as an out-and-out frontman with manager Giovanni Trapattoni testing the depth of his squad in a 1-0 friendly defeat by Greece.

In doing so, he included Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, James McClean and Robbie Brady, and the link-up between full-back Coleman and winger Brady down the right was one of the more positive features of Ireland's performance on the night.

There was a second senior cap for 30-year-old Wes Hoolahan too, with Trapattoni looking to introduce flexibility to his team after four and a half years of sticking rigidly to a 4-4-2 formation.

In the circumstances the narrow defeat, while disappointing, still yielded positives.

Cox said: "We have had players come in. The likes of Robbie Brady has come in and showed what he can do. Obviously, Wes has come in and had a good 45 minutes.

"We have blooded a good number of players who should help us in the long run.

"That's a great sign for the future of Irish football. It's a positive."

Hungry

He added: "You saw how well Seamus played again. He could end up making that right-back spot his own.

"We have bedded in a few new players, young players, hungry players into our squad. Hopefully there are exciting times ahead."

The defeat by the Greeks, who are ranked some 24 places above Ireland, brought an end to an at times turbulent year which saw Trapattoni's future thrown into question by last month's disastrous 6-1 World Cup qualifier hammering by Germany in the wake of a disappointing showing at Euro 2012.

Cox admits he will look back on the last 12 months with mixed emotions, but is also anticipating a return to international action in the new year, when the Republic will face Poland in a February friendly before their potentially crucial qualifiers against Sweden and Austria the following month.

The striker said: "We got into the Euros, which was disappointing to be honest, but now we have started a new campaign.

"It wasn't to be and we didn't finish on a high, but we have got a group of players who are hoping to push on.

"We are a tight-knit group and we are a confident bunch of players. We hope to get a good 2013 under way, starting with the Poland friendly."

Footer 365

Transfer news: Arsene Wenger admits Thomas Vermaelen could leave Arsenal this summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plans to make more signings this summer, but admits captain Thomas Vermaelen could leave.

Guus Hiddink vows to build on success of Holland predecessor Louis van Gaal

New Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink has vowed to build on the success of predecessor Louis van Gaal.

Leeds win High Court ruling but claim police still owe them more than £800,000

Leeds United have been paid £1.2m after the High Court ruled that they had been overcharged for policing at home games.

Mail Box

Are Villa Fans The Lowest Of Them All?

With the possible exception of Blackpool, are any club's fans feeling any more depressed about the start of the season than Villa? We also have a bizarre suggestion and...

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property