Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan and captain Brian O’Driscoll spoke to the press at the team hotel in Paris on Friday, as the countdown continues to the crunch clash with defending Six Nations champions France.
ON HIS DETERMINATION TO GET IRELAND BACK TO THEIR BEST:
“My self belief hasn’t wavered. Of course when things don’t go well you want to address and fix them. That’s the job. As a coach you take responsibility for fixing things.
“It’s the nature of the beast that when things are going wrong you want to apply yourself even more to correct them.
“If you don’t have that sense of determination and belief then you won’t last very long in this business.
“It’s important to be true to yourself, stick to the job and do what you know you’ve always done well. There are no guarantees in this business and that’s the formula you have to work under.”
ON THE MEDIA CRITICISM HE HAS RECEIVED:
“You always get criticised in this job. I don’t know any Test coach who hasn’t been criticised. Obviously you get more criticism when things are going well, but even when things are going well you get criticised. That’s the nature of the business.
“The important thing is to keep on doing the job you’re doing – trust your instincts, work ethic and the belief you have in yourself and the players around you.
“We’re all human and no one likes to be criticised, but it’s just part of the job. The most important thing is to not allow it to affect the way you do your job.”
ON IRELAND’S AND HIS OWN FORM:
“We let ourselves down after the Six Nations last year. We didn’t have the killer instinct. But if we can tweak those few bits and pieces, I think we won’t be far away from giving ourselves a lot of try-scoring opportunities.
“(On his own form) It’s difficult when there isn’t a whole lot of room in midfield. There’s room in other areas to probe when it’s not easy to go through the middle. I thought I played okay last week against Italy and I’m reasonably happy with my form.”
ON A MESSAGE FOR IRISH FANS:
“I don’t really have a message for them. What I would say to my team-mates is that when you come to Paris you have to be in touching distance after 70 minutes with a French team and then they know they’re in a game.
“We’ve been guilty of giving up the game in the first-half in previous years but the longer you hang in with them the more tension there is.
“And when you have 70,000-odd people getting on their backs, I’d say it’s not a nice place to be as a Frenchman. You always feel you have the capabilities of causing an upset.”