Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has fired back at Keith Andrews criticism of the Irish management after the pundit claimed: "they don't have a clue what they're doing."
Andrews was critical of Martin O'Neill in the aftermath of Ireland's 1-0 loss at home against a weakened Wales last week. Coleman missed that game due to injury but the full-back returned to action for his club Everton on Sunday. Speaking to Off The Ball after that game, Coleman claimed: "he might have been trying to make a name for himself by being a little bit harsh."
Andrews played for Ireland from 2008 to 2012 and Coleman reference his playing career while responding to the criticism.
"I heard Keith saying it is the worst Ireland team he has seen in a long time. I'm not quite sure about that. We are going through a tough time and Keith has been part of teams himself that could be questioned at times. Very easy from a pundit's position."
I’ve to bite my tongue at times. Keith has got a job to do, I think Keith has really taken to punditry. He might have been trying to make a name for himself by being a little bit harsh the last night. That’s his job, that’s his role.
When he was a player it was his job to get on the ball and make things happen and at times he didn’t do that. So it is difficult. For the players, we are all together. We want to be as passionate as we can for our country. Sometimes it is hard to take that criticism.
"Keith would say the same when he was a player, he got plenty of criticism and would have agreed it was hard to take."
Coleman did acknowledge the recent performances were not good enough but said they are targetting games in March to lift the nation.
Coleman completed 90 minutes today and picked up a yellow card as Everton defeated Cyrstal Palace 2-0.
You can watch the interview in full here.