Stephen Ward lifts the lid on Irish dressing room emotion with retirements on the horizon

Key players could call it a day after Euro 2016

Stephen Ward, Ireland

Ireland’s Stephen Ward dejected after the game ©INPHO/James Crombie

Stephen Ward says the Ireland dressing room was an emotional place with the prospect of a number of loyal servants retiring after Euro 2016. 

Robbie Keane and John O'Shea are among those who could retire now after the 2-1 defeat to France saw Ireland exit the tournament. 

"It was emotional. Everyone was disappointed. I think if them lads do move on, then it's been an absolute privilege and an honour to play with them and share the field with them because they're Irish legends. They'll be very difficult to replace. That decision's up to them and we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks. But if that is the case, I think everyone here will have been very proud to share the pitch and the green shirt with them," Ward told Off The Ball's Nathan Murphy. 

Ward also added that Ireland knew France would stage an onslaught in the second half as it transpired.

"They've got quality players and they have a lot of strength in depth off the bench so we knew they'd come out second half and put us under pressure," he said.