Martin O'Neill pays tribute to his players as Ireland go down battling

The Boys in Green exit Euro 2016 at the first knockout stage

Ireland, Martin O'Neill

Ireland’s manager Martin O’Neill ©INPHO/James Crombie

Martin O'Neill has praised the application and work-rate of the Irish players after their exit from Euro 2016.

The Boys in Green were knocked out by hosts France in the Round of 16 after a gutsy performance in Lyon.

They had taken the lead into half-time but two goals from Antoine Griezmann helped France turn the game around against the 10-men of Ireland.

O'Neill was disappointed to lose the lead but did not fault his players given how much effort they put into the performance.

"There's natural disappointment considering the position we got ourselves into during the course of the game," he began.

"But the players couldn't have put anything more into the game. Not an ounce left."

O'Neill also suggested that the extra three days of rest for France contributed to the second half dip in performance for Ireland.

"A three-day differential is genuinely too much and it took its toll on us in the second half," he said.