Saturday 10 December 2016

Dunne vows 'we'll give as good as we get' in play-off pressure cooker

Published 13/10/2011 | 05:00

AESTHETICS simply aren't important to Ireland; the end result is all that matters.

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Echoing the thoughts of manager Giovanni Trapattoni, Richard Dunne acknowledged that his team aren't the easiest on the eye but, as long as the boys in green are involved in Euro 2012, it doesn't matter to them.

The Italian's system and style of play have again come in for criticism in the aftermath of the 2-1 win over Armenia on Tuesday night but, with the play-off place secured, the camp were just happy to move on.

"People can talk about us not being exciting to watch, but as long as come next summer, we're off to Poland and Ukraine, we'll be happy enough," said Dunne.

"We are going into the next game with lots of confidence. We believe, whoever we get, we are going to give as good as we get and they are not going to be in for an easy game."

The focus has now switched to the play-off draw, and the Aston Villa centre-half plumps for Estonia as the team he would prefer to face out of the four potential outcomes.

However, while a trip to Tallinn might be his preference, Dunne knows from experience that any team who manages to finish second in a qualifying group will be a tough proposition.

"Maybe Estonia, to be fair," he said when asked who he would like to face. "Then again they have been hammering Northern Ireland. It's a bit similar to Armenia -- if Armenia had got to the play-offs, people would have fancied playing them, but they are a really good side -- you can't take anything for granted in the play-offs.

"I think every team is similar. They all have their own attributes. I presume, when they look at us, they just think if they come here or we go there, it's going to be a tough battle. For us, it's just about preparing right again and making ourselves hard to beat."

As for Ireland's clean-sheet record that came to an end on Tuesday, Dunne said it had to come to an end some time.

"It had to go and if it was going to go you might at well lose it in a game you are going to win," he said. "You go into every game and people are saying it's brilliant that we're not conceding. The important thing against Armenia was not just to cave in after we conceded and I think we managed that."

Irish Independent

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