Martin O’Neill: “We trained every single day, and it was almost like a pre-season for us.
“The players were saying that themselves because we trained pretty hard.
“Of course, you get photographs coming out, but that’s no problem.
"We didn’t deliberately go out of the FA Cup just to get a few days off. I’d rather be playing each and every Saturday, certainly last weekend.
“But interestingly, I think our pre-season this year was really stop-start.
“It was organised before I came here that we had the trip to South Korea, and we went there on the back of two days’ training. It wasn’t enough.
“Then it was interrupted by players being away for international matches in the European Championships.
“We never really had a proper pre-season.
“Next year, we’ll change it and make sure we’re absolutely right.
“If we’re still in the Premiership, we’ll go to the Hong Kong tournament, which will be great, but we’ll have done 10 days before that.”