McClean: Not many positives from Belarus performance

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The Republic of Ireland winger was disappointed with his side's display as they suffered a 2-1 defeat in their final friendly before Euro 2016

James McClean has admitted that there were not many positives to be taken as the Republic of Ireland lost 2-1 to Belarus at Cork City.

Martin O'Neill's side went two goals down before Stephen Ward netted a consolation goal, but despite an improved second-half showing, McClean was not happy after the defeat.

"Positives, there weren't many from us," McClean told Setanta Sports.

"A few lads got a game and helped their fitness before France. That's the only positive."

The West Bromwich Albion winger is already looking ahead to Ireland's opening match at Euro 2016 against Sweden, but believes it will be difficult for the players who miss out on the Boys in Green squad.

"It's a friendly," McClean continued. "We'd rather lose here tonight than lose on the 13th against Sweden. I'd gladly take the loss tonight and three points against Sweden.

"Every player wants to play. I'm no different. Hopefully I've given him food for thought. It's obviously special if you're on the plane, and gutwretching if you're not."

Derby County midfielder Jeff Hendrick also started at Turner's Cross, and was pleased to get gametime after missing much of Derby County's Championship run-in due to injury.

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"I'm not happy with the defeat, I was happy to get 90 minutes under my belt," Hendrick admitted. 

"I haven't played a lot since March. I know I can play a lot better. The team know we can play better. It was good with the crowd down here in Cork.

"It was tough with the injury. I was battling back to get games before meeting up with the team. I was trying to work as hard as I can and get my fitness back up as much as I can. It was good to get the 90 minutes in. It was a tough game, but now is the time to get our minds on the Euros."

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