IRELAND defender Kevin Long admits his side have to be more composed on the ball if they're to end their barren spell.
The Cork native is set to win his seventh cap in the friendly at Lansdowne Road against the USA on Saturday when Martin O’Neill will attempt to guide his team to a first win in five outings.
They were completely outclassed by World Cup-bound France in Monday night’s 2-0 defeat but it was their inability to retain possession which set alarm bells ringing.
Former Ireland midfielders Keith Andrews has called on O’Neill and Roy Keane to have the players better prepared for Saturday’s last game of the season, while Long insists an upturn is required ahead of the UEFA Nations League campaign kicking off in September.
“I don't know did we panic or what but we just didn't get that first pass off,” Long reflected on the mauling by the French.
“The same thing kept happening; it was back and forth. We need to use the ball better, keeping it in possession and improving our passing.
“After coming to Paris wanting to at least put in a good performance, we didn’t do ourselves justice.
“France were good, our team has a lot of new players and we kept our shape well at times but the defeat hurts.
“To go into the UEFA Nations League campaign later in the year with a winning mentality, we have to beat USA on Saturday.”