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Published: 11:42 | 28/2/16

Joe Schmidt: I don't feel we're a million miles away

Ireland lost 21-10 in Twickenham on Saturday

Joe Schmidt has urged fans to keep the faith, despite Ireland’s worse start to a Six Nations’ championship since 1998.

The current champions relinquished their title after they fell to a 21-10 defeat to England in Twickenham on Saturday, following on from an opening round draw with Wales and defeat to France.

Schmidt accepted that his side are in a period of transition, but he is confident that they are getting closer to where they need to be.

"While we've got guys who are coming in and doing a good job, there's a little bit of a transition period," said Schmidt.

"We're building past that hopefully. But don't lose faith that we won't keep building and hopefully that will be sufficient to keep people enthusiastic about what we do in the next two games.

"I'm positive by nature, I think we tried to play positively with the enterprise we showed and we'll keep trying to do that.

"I am excited about the young guys who are coming in. I'm sure they can well step up to this level, and that's got to be positive going forward."

Schmidt says a try for Josh van der Flier was incorrectly ruled out by the TMO and he felt the little things went against his side.

"You're a whisker away if the ball slips out of your grasp, and you're a whisker away when you don't quite get a decision after going over the line," said Schmidt.

"To be honest it's really tough at the moment for players who take so much pride to not quite get the result. But I honestly don't feel we're a million miles away.

However, the New Zealander is now fully focussed on finishing the campaign with wins at home against Italy and Scotland.

"We need to get a result and we need to build toward that over the next two weeks.

"We saw that angle and we thought it was a try for Josh (van der Flier), and I think the players thought it was a try.

"You lose a game because a ball slips out of a player's hand or there seems to be a dark patch on a TV screen for a TMO decision.

"We can't buy a trick at the moment. It's frustrating."

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