Tuesday 24 April 2018

Eamon Dunphy: 'It's not the players who will cost us our place at the World Cup, it's O'Neill and Keane

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill reacts at the final whistle
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill reacts at the final whistle

Eamon Dunphy reckons Ireland have blown their World Cup chances and he points the finger of blame firmly at the management team.

Ireland face a massive task to make it to Russia following tonight's 1-0 defeat against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium.

Aleksandar Kolarov smashed home the only goal in the second half to gun down a vastly improved Irish side.

Two late Wales goal in Moldova catapulted them into second spot and now Martin O'Neill's men must win their final two group games - home to Moldova and away to Wales - and then pray that will be enough to make us one of the top eight runners up from the nine groups.

"We proved for an hour tonight that we have a good team. We have a lot of players who can play and we played the best side in the group and we troubled them," said Dunphy on RTE after the match.

"Then they got their goal but when you look at the inconsistencies in the management team's choices between last Saturday when we were outplayed by Georgia and you look at the difference there is tonight.

"The changes in selection, the changes in style, changes in the role of James McClean for example. He played in midfield tonight which I think is crazy.

"Robbie Brady, we can conclusively say, is a much better left full for Ireland and Burnley, he didn't play well again in midfield. 

"Shane Duffy comes out with great credit from the games, he has grown up and marshaled the defence. We missed Seamus Coleman so much.

"Wes Hoolahan should always play when he is available. If he had played against Georgia for one hour on Saturday, we would have got three points.

"It's a sad night because I don't think we will get to the World Cup. I think the management have questions to answer.

"David Meyler was rightly man-of-the-match. David Meyler has been sitting on the bench for a long time waiting for a chance to go into that slot where Glenn Whelan is.

"There are many questions you could ask our management team and I don't know the answers.

"It's not the players who will cost us our place at the World Cup, it's the management."

Online Editors

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