Five positives to take from Ireland's international break
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Five positives to take from Ireland's international break

YOU MAY not believe that there are five positives to be taken from a bad week for Irish football, but we've thought of a few.

Two losses and a draw. That's what people will take from the past three Irish games.

And while now is not necessarily the time to be overly optimistic about how things are going, it's not all doom and gloom.

Here are some positives we can take from the past week or so of international football:

Gavin Bazunu

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Ireland does not have a goalkeeper problem, and it hasn't for around 20 years. Shay Given was excellent, and when he stopped playing, the brilliant Darren Randolph stepped in seamlessly.

But we are now at a point where we may need to start looking to the future, and Bazunu impressing in his first two starts might mean we have our keeper sorted for the next 10 years or so.

If he returns to Man City next season and gets the odd game here and there under Pep Guardiola, even better.

Chemistry 

There is a lot to be said for a team that knows one another. Before this international break, a number of these players were yet to play together. Seamus Coleman seemingly had never met Gavin Bazunu, now we'd be certain they'll both start our next game.

Molumby, Cullen and Knight needed these minutes together. They needed to learn the ins and outs of each other's games.

Plus all of the craic they had in training, these games should go a long way in the grand scheme of things.

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O'Shea

Dara O'Shea really stood out as our best defender in this international break, which says a lot as he's still only 22 years of age.

Whether Kenny opts to go with a back four or a back five going forward, we reckon he'll be finding a way to include the young West Brom defender.

The fact that he can basically play anywhere across the backline only adds to how valuable he will be going forward.

Youth 

Our first game against Serbia really wasn't that bad. We were beaten by a very good side, who scored some amazing goals, in a close game.

In that game we started with Mark Travers (21), Dara O'Shea (22), Josh Cullen (24), Alan Browne (25), Jayson Molumby (21) and Aaron Connolly (21). Six players who are aged 25 or under. This is not something Ireland does often, but something that will only happen more under Stephen Kenny.

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Rock bottom

This may not seem like a positive, but it could prove to be. We can essentially rule out qualifying for the World Cup, so can use the rest of the campaign to really work out what our best team is.

We can figure out how we should plan on playing football for the next few years, what the philosophy should be.

Let's see where we go from here.