"I said to the ref that if it was anywhere else on the pitch, he gives it"
Stephen Ward admits Ireland made life easier for Belgium in today's Euro 2016 clash in Bordeaux.
Ireland failed to get going in the 3-0 defeat to the star-studded Belgians and speaking to Off The Ball after the game, left-back Ward had no complaints about the result in which all of the opposition goals came from their right side.
"I think in the end, you've got to hold your hands up and say they were the better team but we're disappointed with the goals we've given away and making it easier than it should have been for them. I felt at half-time we were right in the game," he told Nathan Murphy.
"I think we've got good enough players to keep the ball in the team. We just couldn't get a foothold on it as much as we would have liked. If you're playing against a team like that, if you do give it away it is in dangerous positions and we're disappointed we didn't keep the ball better to give ourselves a breather but it's one of them days."
Ward was also disappointed that Ireland did not get a penalty for a challenge on Shane Long in the Belgian box at a crucial juncture in the game.
"I was in the box at the time. I felt it was a penalty. I said to the ref that if it was anywhere else on the pitch, he gives it. But unfortunately it didn't go our way," he said.