Ireland Under-21 defender Conor Masterson says he was disappointed after the 0-0 draw with Italy, despite it being widely regarded as a landmark result.
Stephen Kenny's side remain unbeaten after four games in their Euro 2021 qualifying group.
They had won three from three before facing a highly-fancied Italian outfit. A 0-0 draw followed which would normally be regarded as a excellent result.
But for Conor Masterson, it wasn't, in a sign of the progress the Under-21's have made.
"Seven months ago, when we met up in March, we weren't thinking at this point that we were going to be going into Italy thinking, 'Right, we're disappointed coming off with a 0-0 draw,'" he told Nathan Murphy.
"But the way we've just kicked on... the Toulon Tournament, Sweden, every game we've played, we just grew in confidence.
"We were disappointed after this game because we felt we were the better team on the day."
Masterson is part of the Under-21 crop that are being lauded. And it has led to optimism about Irish football's future - a sense that the player himself also shares.
"The future for Irish football is very bright," he said.
"You can see there, we weren't worried technically at all. We went out there full of confidence, wanting to beat these.
"And we weren't afraid, put it that way. Back in the day, I've said it before, 4-5-1, hit the channels, hit the big man up front. Not with our team, to be honest. We want to play football. It's good to watch and like you can see all the fans coming out today, it's basically packed to the rafters. So it's brilliant for us and brilliant for Irish football in the future."
"The future is bright for Irish football"
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 11, 2019