Republic of Ireland interim manager Noel King admitted that he was "not too displeased" despite watching his players suffer a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a Germany side who dominated for large periods in Friday's World Cup qualifier.
King took charge of his first Ireland game after being appointed temporary boss following the dismissal of Giovanni Trapattoni, and started his tenure with a 3-0 loss in Cologne. However, the Ireland Under-21 manager refused to blame his players for the result. "It looks really poor at 3-0," King told RTE after the match. "We acquitted ourselves well, we were tight, we were compact. They had a large possession of the ball, we needed to counter. I thought we countered well, in creating five or six chances, really good chances, so you have to be happy with that.
"Overall in terms of application, in terms of making progress, the boys tried very, very hard. They really put their whole effort into it, I couldn't make a change because I was happy with the way we were, and we were making chances. Overall, I'm not too displeased. I'm sick about losing, and I'm sick about the scoreline, but them boys really tried hard for Ireland, and they can be proud of themselves tonight."
Germany took the lead after just 12 minutes as Sami Khedira's shot was deflected off Ciaran Clark to leave goalkeeper David Forde with no chance. King believes that the early goal changed the game, feeling that his players defended well until then. "We were unfortunate with the deflection. As the game would've went on, we would've gotten more confident, and they would've gotten a bit frustrated. We kept in the game until the 89th minute, and they cleared one off the line.
"A few minutes before that Anthony Stokes had a chance to score, and we had another chance to score. If you get back to 2-1 it's a different game. As far as I'm concerned, the boys kept the game alive til then."
King's side face Kazakhstan on Tuesday, October 15 in the final World Cup qualifier, with kick-off at 19.45 BST.