Martin O'Neill: Seamus Coleman's injury "puts things in perspective"

The Everton defender suffered a broken leg during tonight's scoreless draw with Wales

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill labelled Seamus Coleman's horrific leg break a "big loss" during tonight's scoreless draw with Wales at the Aviva Stadium.

The Irish captain was stretchered from the pitch and was administered oxygen after a tackle from Neil Taylor midway through the second half.

"Obviously it's a real blow to him," O'Neill said during his post-match press conference. "He was having the season of a lifetime at club level and is such a big player for us. He's a great captain and a great character.

"It's a big, big loss. A big loss to Everton. A big loss to us. He'll fight back I hope, but it puts things in perspective."

Members of the press pointed to Gareth Bale's challenge not long before the sending off, claiming that too could have been a red card. The Real Madrid star's foot was raised and he collided heavily with John O'Shea in the Irish penalty area.

O'Neill was reluctant to comment of the challenge and claimed that he had not seen the replay.

"I've been rushing around since that, lads are telling me that that could have been a red card as well.

"I've not seen it. I've not even seen Seamus' tackle. I've been told that it's not great and that even the television went without showing a replay of the tackle."

Ireland retain a share of top spot in their World Cup Qualifying Group D standings, but have slipped into second behind Serbia this evening on goal difference.

O'Neill critiqued the performance after the match and claimed that Ireland didn't play well enough to get much from the game. 

"We surrendered possession to them probably too easily. I thought the second half we started to improve and we really started to get into it.

"The crowd were fantastic, they were really keeping us going. I thought in the last 20 minutes we might have been able to win it. But with that said, when Gareth Bale dispossessed Richard Keogh and he missed by inches, that would have been tough to take.

"I thought with the amount of balls that went across the box, somebody would have been able to get in there."