Stephen Ward knows the Republic need another big performance against Serbia

Jonathan Hayes left Robbie Brady centre and Wes Hoolahan of Republic of Ireland in Georgia

Republic of Ireland have lost ground on Serbia in Group D after being held to a 1-1 draw in Georgia.

Makaridze ensured the scores stayed level at the break with a brilliant reflex save just before half-time when Duffy met Robbie Brady's corner with a far-post header.

"The second half was improved and we had three good chances to win the game, but unfortunately one just didn't drop in for us. We have been in situations before where we have had to bounce back, so hopefully we can all recover quickly, get the bodies right and put in a much better performance on Tuesday".

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Click to enlarge

The home side were causing Ireland problems down the right and O'Neill's men were repeatedly careless in possession as they attempted to break, although McClean's industry earned Long a half-chance when the striker sent a dipping volley over the crossbar.

"We will try to make the last game hard for Serbia".

Temperatures have been soaring in Georgia this week and heat could be an issue with the game kicking off in the early evening.

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"I don't think there's a quick fix to it". "We probably had a little bit more of the ball then but against technical, very good players we would want to impose ourselves a lot better than we did tonight". It was a different story to three years ago, when a late McGeady goal at the same stadium secured three points.

The visitors improved after the break and James McClean and substitute Aiden McGeady both had late chances to win it as Vladimir Weiss' men exhausted, but justice would hardly have been served had either of them done so.

Ireland could have had no complaints had the home side eventually picked up their first win of the campaign, but instead the points were shared and Ireland now know that victory is needed against Serbia on Tuesday.

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Duffy and Clark repeatedly found themselves in the firing line with Ireland too often squandering possession and inviting pressure, although apart from having to beat away Kakabadze's driven 24th-minute cross, goalkeeper Darren Randolph was reasonably well protected.

He said: "Obviously our aim tonight was to get the three points and get the first win in the group".

"To get a lead so early was brilliant for us and it was disappointing that we couldn't hang on to that".

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"I was really disappointed with the first and second half", continued the midfielder who only really showed glimpses of what had been wanted from him in the minutes before he was replaced by Aiden McGeady. They were by far better side. He's the one who has to pester players and managers during their rawest moments on live television for millions of people at home, who are probably even more frustrated. We need to do better because we are up against a talented side in Serbia on Tuesday.

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