Monday 20 November 2017

'They need a reality check': Angry McClean lashes out at Irish media and Moldova's rough tactics

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

James McClean hit out at the Irish media after he scored two goals in Ireland 3-1 win against Moldova and he also reserved some of his verbal venom for Moldvoa’s tough tacklers after a fiery encounter in Chisinau.

The straight-talking West Bromwich Albion winger turned in one of his best performances on the international stage as a much improved Ireland team got a win that moved them on to seven points in highly competitive World Cup qualifying Group D.

Read more: 'I'm not sure that that is absolutely true': Martin O'Neill and Tony O'Donoghue renew their rivalry in testy post-match interview

While McClean was delighted with his two-goal haul, he was quick to turn his post match attention to the media after negative coverage of Ireland’s last two matches against Serbia and Georgia.

“The Irish media need to have a reality check,” he told Sky Sports. “We are not going to blow teams away, we know that.

“There was a lot of flack after the Serbia game, a lot of flack after the Georgia game, unfairly so as well, and we didn’t want a repeat.

“It’s a bit frustrating. Look, our fans are brilliant and they travel everywhere home and away and they are amazing.

“For some reason, with the media it seems to be a no win situation. If we play pretty football they say we should have won. If we don’t play pretty football and we win, they say we need to play pretty football.

“Well, I have always been one of those people who wants to win no matter how we do it. We have seven points after three games. People see Georgia and Moldova as write-offs, but there is no such thing in that in international football any more.”

McClean was among those in danger of losing his temper in the final minutes of the game, as Moldova’s players ripped into some meaty challenges as they lost their composure as they were condemned to another defeat, with the man in the eye of the storm criticising the Moldovan tactics.

“We were 3-1 up and for some reason they decided they wanted to kick lumps out of us,” he added. “A few of the tackles were out of order.

“There could have been some serious injuries there and it got a bit heated. It was probably a stupid for myself and a few of us to get involved, but that’s football. Emotions run high.”

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