| 13.8°C Dublin

blunt force Richard Dunne and Kevin Doyle run out of excuses for Stephen Kenny after latest flop

Close

Shane Duffy celebrates scoring Ireland’s equaliser (Niall Carson/PA)

Shane Duffy celebrates scoring Ireland’s equaliser (Niall Carson/PA)

Shane Duffy celebrates scoring Ireland’s equaliser (Niall Carson/PA)

Richard Dunne believes Ireland have "gone backwards" as Stephen Kenny's wait for a first victory in a competitive match continued after a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin.

A late Shane Duffy equaliser saved Kenny from a defeat that would have cast a huge doubt over his future as Ireland manager, but former Ireland defender Dunne suggested any talk of progress being made by the current management team can be banished until they start winning matches.

"If we are not qualifying for tournaments, we have to look and ask is there any progress and are we getting better," Dunne told Sky Sports.

"The expectation of the Ireland team have been lowered over the last few seasons and it's almost like we have to find a way to win again.

"This Irish team can't find a way to win games and until we turn that corner, there is always going to be negativity around the side.

"People will point to the performance in Portugal as being progress, but this game against Azerbaijan was going backwards again. They might say we are playing nice football, but that is not good enough. We need to start putting points on the table.

"We need to see over the next six months that we are getting points. That's all people are interested in.

"We got beaten by Serbia (at the start of this World Cup qualifying group) and some people were giving them a pat on the back saying it was a good performance, but that's not good enough. If you want to improve and go forward, you can't accept defeats are okay.

"Even the draw in the play-off in Slovakia when we failed to qualify for the Euros. There was a lot of well done and nice try, but that's not good enough. You need to get results.

"We are giving new players a game, introducing a lot of new caps, but they need to win games.

"Regardless of the style of football, there is no progress until we get points on the board."

Dunne went on to suggest Ireland's lack of firepower has not been solved by Kenny and his staff, as he suggested Duffy is Ireland's most likely scorer.

Close

John Egan and Adam Idah (left) appear dejected after the final whistle (Niall Carson/PA)

John Egan and Adam Idah (left) appear dejected after the final whistle (Niall Carson/PA)

John Egan and Adam Idah (left) appear dejected after the final whistle (Niall Carson/PA)

"When your centre-half is your main attacking threat, you have problem," added Dunne. "We didn't open them up enough and it's disappointing after all the enthusiasm on from the game on Wednesday night.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"We started the game quite well, but our energy seemed to wane. When you play on the front foot, you play off adrenaline and we didn't get too much joy in the attacking third.

"Maybe that's why the players lost a bit of belief, but we allowed Azerbaijan to come back into it and that's when they got their goal."

Former Ireland striker Kevin Doyle questioned why Kenny made the changes he made in the second half, as he suggested changes were made for the wrong reason.

"We should have stuck more with what we did the other night," he said, reflecting on the encouraging performance in Portugal on Wednesday night.

"Some of the positional changes were unnecessary. Seamus Coleman didn't look himself in a back three and he was brilliant against Portugal as a wing back.

"It looked uncomfortable for Troy Parrott. They were trying to play three up front. He didn't know whether to come short, go long, go out on the wing, to go inside. It didn't look natural for him.

"They got beat by Luxembourg the other night. Their confidence was on the floor, but he made unnecessary changes just when we had a chance to have a settled team for two games."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy