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frustrated figure Aaron Connolly breaks his silence over the fiasco that saw him miss crucial play-off

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Aaron Connolly appeared dejected at the final whistle (Emmi Korhonen/AP)

Aaron Connolly appeared dejected at the final whistle (Emmi Korhonen/AP)

PA

Aaron Connolly appeared dejected at the final whistle (Emmi Korhonen/AP)

Aaron Connolly cut a frustrated figure as he struggled to find the words to sum up another scoreless night under manager Stephen Kenny, with Finland adding to Ireland's mounting misery with a 1-0 UEFA Nations League victory over The Boys in Green in Helsinki.

Kenny's uncomfortable start as Ireland manager continued as he failed to win his fifth successive match and his side failed to score a goal for the fourth game in a row, with Brighton striker Connolly ending a miserable week personally by failing to score a maiden senior international goal.

Connolly missed last week's Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia after he was deemed to have come into close contact with a member of the FAI staff that falsely tested positive for Covid-19 and he offered up his first comments on the incident after the latest setback for Kenny's Ireland.

"Frustrating. That's all I can say," he said. "In the UK, I would have played the game as I was 1.9 metres away from someone who had a false positive. I might never get a chance to play in a game like that again. It's hard to miss a game like that."

Connolly went on to suggest he would shoulder some of the blame for Ireland's latest defeat, as he admitted he should have passed to team-mate Daryl Horgan when he was in a better position to score against Finland.

"I was selfish at times," he added. "I probably should have squared one to Daryl, but I need to start looking at that side of my game. It's game awareness. It's cost us, I think. As a striker, you need to be selfish, but you need to know when to pass and when to shoot.

"I think we deserved to win that game. I'm not sure what happened on the goal, but we lost it at the back and they punished us. I thought we definitely deserved something.

"It's another game we haven't scored in. You feel like there is going to be a break sometime for us, but it doesn't look like it's coming at the moment."

Online Editors