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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 26 May, 2018
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'It takes courage to get on the ball and play the way Hoolahan plays'

The RTÉ panel were critical of Ireland’s performance in Copenhagen on Saturday night.

IRELAND MAY HAVE escaped Copenhagen with the tie all to play for, but the RTÉ panel were not overly impressed with the manner of the performance this evening.

Damien Duff lamented the Irish team’s failure to get an away goal, pointing to the fact that Denmark could potentially have 120 minutes to score one in Dublin.

Liam Brady also criticised the standard of play in Copenhagen this evening.

“Whoever goes out here is going to be criticised a lot,” the ex-Arsenal midfielder said.

“Both teams were direct and both teams didn’t put any emphasis on creative football.”

Yet the most scathing assessment, as usual, was provided by Eamon Dunphy.

“It takes courage to get on the ball and play the way Hoolahan plays,” he said.

“You need courage especially when you have a coach like Martin O’Neill, who’s not really fond of that kind of thing.

“Determination is okay, but if the World Cup was about determination, we’d all be going.

“The World Cup is for the best footballing teams. You’ve got to play football and I’m not convinced we can. If he doesn’t play Wes Hoolahan on Tuesday night, I don’t know where the creativity, the passes and the chances are going to come from. If he doesn’t play Shane Long, I don’t know how we’re going to stretch Denmark, because Daryl Murphy is not that kind of player.

If he doesn’t encourage the players to pass the ball and play like we know they can, then we’ll go out.

“Martin O’Neill has a pedigree… Two European Cup-winning teams at Notts Forest. Roy Keane has every honour in the game playing for Manchester United.

“How on earth can they look at that 93 minutes and not feel some shame at the failure of nerve to get the ball down, to pass the ball, to encourage players to support the ball. How?”

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‘The onus is on the home side to try to break the team down. We’ve set out with a gameplan’>

Randolph to the rescue and more talking points from Denmark>

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Paul Fennessy

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