Republic of Ireland defender Enda Stevens has said they didn't get a chance to train in the unfamiliar 3-at-the-back formation ahead of the crucial qualifier against Switzerland.
Ireland started the game with three across the back with Enda Stevens playing on the left of the three. A decision manager Mick McCarthy said he took to get two strikers on the pitch.
It didn't work, Ireland conceded an early goal and the formation was abandoned before half-time.
Enda Stevens says Ireland didn't get an opportunity to practise playing with last night's 3-at-the-back formation 🇮🇪
He spoke to @RichieMcCormack after #SWIIRL #OTBAM - more reaction here ➡️https://t.co/TV9wRFIG0K pic.twitter.com/LFp2D1Novm
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 16, 2019
When asked by OTB on the length of time the team spent practicing the new formation Stevens replied:
"We didn't really get the chance to the day before the game because we had people watching the training session.
"That was the most difficult part about it and the quick turnaround. We have players in the team that know the formation and know the positions.
"They play it. Me and Eg's (John Egan) play it, Duff's (Shane Duffy) play it. We kind of knew the roles but it never really clicked for us."
Mick McCarthy said after the defeat to Switzerland that he was forced to change the formation early because "it wasn't working".
McCarthy defended the decision to play 3-at-the-back as so many of the players at his disposal operate in the formation at club level.
Stevens is more familiar in the wing-back role at Sheffield United but he assured OTB he knows what is required.
"I have played both so I understand both positions," said Stevens. "I think it was just a difficult first half for us I don't think we passed the ball too well."
The Sheffield United man was unhappy with the way the team passed the ball. He admitted:"We were very sloppy in possession and we just gave them a lift with our sloppiness."
The defeat means the Republic of Ireland face into a must-win game against familiar foes next. The Boys in Green need a win against Denmark in Dublin to secure qualification to the Euro 2020 Championships.
They will line up at the Aviva Stadium on Monday November 18th.