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Caoimhín Kelleher Says Ireland Need To Keep Building Momentum After Scotland Win

Caoimhín Kelleher Says Ireland Need To Keep Building Momentum After Scotland Win
By Gary Connaughton

Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium

The Republic of Ireland got their UEFA Nations League back on track this evening, running out as deserving 3-0 winners over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.

It was a performance that contrasted greatly to their showings in their two previous outings. Whereas they looked like a team without any plan in attack against both Armenia and Ukraine, Stephen Kenny's side looked a far more potent outfit on this occasion. Tinkering with the system slightly and starting with a strike partnership of Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi, they were the only team that really looked like threatening the goal.

That made for a rather routine afternoon for Caoimhín Kelleher at the other end.

The Liverpool goalkeeper wasn't really asked to make any saves of note, with his teammates mopping up any dangerous situations that did develop over the course of the 90 minutes.

Speaking after the game, Kelleher praised his defenders and said this was a result that the group deserved after the work they have put in over the course of the international break.

It's a result that we deserved to be fair, we've done a lot of work over the last two weeks in camp. It's a big win today really, it was a satisfying performance.

We defended brilliantly. The back three in front of me were amazing in winning every header and blocks. For me it was quite an easy afternoon really, so all the credit has to go to the defenders in front of me...

We were all quite motivated for this one. We knew it would be sold out, Scotland is such a big as well so we had to forget Ukraine as quick as we could. We were just excited and wanted to put in a good performance.

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This was Kelleher's third start of the international window, having also started both games back in March. A spot in the side was opened up on both occasions thanks to an injury to Gavin Bazunu, although the 23-year old will be hoping that he can do enough this month to make his case to become Ireland's long-term no. 1.

He came in for some slight criticism after the loss to Ukraine in midweek, with the winning goal coming from a cross that managed to find its way beyond his reach and into the far corner. However, he didn't dwell on that one for too long.

Having acted as backup for club and country for much of his career, he is delighted to get on the pitch and contribute to a positive result for his country.

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It's a good experience and good to get some games in for myself. More importantly, we got the win for the squad which is the best thing...

Not a lot, just go through it with the coaches, dissect it, and then move on (from the Ukraine goal). That's what I do, I move on quick and forget it because there's no point on dwelling on stuff...

It's important. If we get another win, we're right back in the group. Tuesday is a big game for us so hopefully we can get another win.

The Cork man is likely to be in the team once again on Tuesday night when Ireland take on what is likely to be a much changed Ukraine side in Poland. Having fielded a second choice side in Dublin, they are likely to recall a number of key men for the game.

That should make for a busier night for Caoimhín Kelleher, although he has shown during his appearances for both Ireland and Liverpool that he should be more than up to the task.

SEE ALSO: Ireland Player Ratings As Stephen Kenny's Side Hammer Scotland At The Aviva

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