Tuesday 10 December 2019

Ireland 'made to look silly' -- but Doyle insists result merely a blip

Neil Ahern

THEY MAY have come close to a stunning comeback, but a disconsolate Irish squad were unanimous last night in their verdict that a point would have been wholly undeserved after they were steamrolled by classy Russia for the majority of their defeat at the Aviva Stadium.

Kevin Doyle did, however, admit that he believes the overall performance was a blip and thinks they can get back to winning ways on Tuesday night in Zilina.

"It was a blip tonight," insisted the Wolves striker, "We can still play well in Slovakia, I think. The fact that they were beaten in Armenia shows what a good result we got there.

"We have to go and play well and believe in ourselves and if we win that, then great. We are still top of the group, but we haven't been shown up like that in a long time.

"Tonight we were (shown up) for about 60 minutes or so, but we did manage to get some credibility back.

"Russia are a good team, they have good players and they played well. They took their chances and they made us look a bit silly, if I'm to be honest.


"We could have got something and, in the end, it looked like we would get something. Another five minutes and we might have.

"On 90 minutes we didn't deserve anything, I don't think, although we wouldn't be saying that if we'd got a draw."

Richard Dunne, receiving the official Man of the Match award, was in agreement with the Wexford man -- although a little more damning in his words.

"We could have been four or five down before we decided to start playing," conceded the Tallaght man.

"We couldn't do anything in the first half and even in the second half we couldn't get going. They passed the ball really well and we took to knocking it long and winning second balls. We created chances, but probably didn't deserve the draw overall."

The 31-year-old didn't mince his words in the wake of Ireland's first defeat of the European Championship qualification campaign and demanded that his team begin playing more football.

"It wasn't good enough. We proved when we played France that we can pass the ball and it's about being brave enough. We weren't brave enough tonight.

"We've got to have confidence and have to be braver when we have the ball. Going long is probably the easy way out for players.

"We've got to get our foot on the ball and demand it to try and create chances."

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