Eamon Dunphy: It's a poor Germany team and we should be aiming for a win
Published 07/09/2015 | 22:28
Before Ireland took on Georgia at the Aviva Stadium tonight, the panel weren't particularly confident, with John Giles worried that a 0-0 draw could be on the cards and Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy also predicting a struggle.
But fast-forward to the end of Ireland's 1-0 win, courtesy of Jon Walters smuggling the ball over the line following a magical run by Jeff Hendrick, and one of the RTÉ pundits had done a complete reversal.
"We need to stop talking ourselves down," Dunphy said.
"I think we can beat Germany when they come here. I think the German team is poor. They have players who can’t get in Premier League teams. A lot of their best players have retired. We have to believe that we can beat them when they come.
"We have to get rid of that defeatist mindset," Dunphy continued.
"It is a mindset and we have to go out and win games."
Ireland's win coupled with Scotland's 3-2 defeat at home to Germany means that Martin O'Neill's men now hold a four point lead over Scotland in the playoff spot in their group. Last week, Ireland were two points behind Gordon Strachan's side but after picking up six points to Scotland's zero, everything has changed.
John Giles thought the introduction of Shane Long for Robbie Keane at half time was crucial, and also marvelled at just how dramatically Ireland's fortunes have improved in the last few days.
"Long made a difference in coming on with a bit of pace up front," Giles said.
"We well deserved to win the match. The weekend has been absolutely brilliant for the Irish team. It couldn’t have gone better and they deserved to win tonight.
"They [Georgia] had no conviction to win the match," he continued.
"They were just hoping to get a 0-0 draw."
Ireland were very poor in the first half and although they picked things up in the second period, the game was still scoreless with 20 minutes to go. Then Jeff Hendrick picked the ball up on the left wing, nutmegged one defender, raced past two others and squared for the on-rushing Walters to prod home.
Liam Brady, one of Ireland's most skillful players, was delighted to see the game turn on such an exceptional moment.
"A piece of individual magic, we thought it might come from Wes Hoolahan but I was very, very surprised when Hendrick came up with this," Brady said.
"That is the most productive thing he has done in an Irish jersey," he said later.
"I didn’t think he had that skill and he unlocked that very strong Georgian defence."