Ireland big guns join up with squad

"It's not a great result but it's all building up to Austria a week on Sunday and we'll take the few positives that come out of the game and look back on the negatives".

That at the end of 12 months which also saw Martin O'Neill's men perform creditably at the Euro 2016 finals, where they eventually went out in the last 16 to hosts France, would represent a positive global season for the Republic.

Daryl Murphy now moves on with the rest of the squad to prepare for a friendly against Uruguay, who the Republic play at home on Sunday.

"In terms of our preparation for the main game against Austria, I thought it was excellent", O'Neill told reporters.

He said: "I remember when we played Portugal - I played in that game and it was another tough night, but you learn from it and you come out a better player, and I certainly have".

"We have to try it, that's the whole point".

"Let's have a look at i because we might have to do it at some point in our World Cup campaign, we might have to change systems".

"Mexico dealt with the ball very, very well and I thought they were much fitter than us..." As far as I'm concerned, it was great. "Secondly, quite a number of players have not played football for quite a considerable amount of time", said O'Neill. In one sense it was - there was much-needed game time for many who hadn't played for over a month. "I thought it was great preparation".

Juan Carlos Osorio's men outclassed a below-strength Ireland team at the MetLife Stadium as they stepped up their preparations for World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and the United States before they head for the Confederations Cup in Russian Federation.

They lost 5-1 on that occasion and after the latest defeat O'Neill joked that they would not be back.

Others, like James McClean, are likely to be allowed to return to more familiar roles after having been played out of position in New Jersey and there will be some fresh legs too as players given time off after the end of the Premier League season join up with the group.

  • Leroy Wright