'It's heartbreaking' -- Richard Dunne reflects on broken Euro dreams

“We came here with the aim and the dream of winning the European Championships. It’s gone completely wrong for us,” said the Aston Villa defender this afternoon.

Richard Dunne: it's gone wrong.
Richard Dunne: it's gone wrong.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

TWO DAYS LATER. And the Irish squad still don’t appear to have properly recovered from their elimination at the feet of Spain.

There’s still a profound feeling of crushing disappointment as a dejected Richard Dunne spoke to the media today.

And, just as the defender has been struggling to come to terms with the tournament, he’s also struggling to understand what went wrong. But he did have one note of defiance.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s your dream to go and play in a championships and do well and be brilliant but it’s just not happened for us. So it’s heartbreaking.

“As much as we want to do well, we know we haven’t. We wanted to do well but it’s been very difficult for us. The disappointment is massive.

“We came here with the aim and the dream of winning the European Championships. It’s gone completely wrong for us.”

The key question, though. Are the players putting it down to the quality of the opposition or errors by themselves? Do they feel they could have done better?

“We’ve done everything we possibly could,” he said. “You have to hold your hands up. Our normal game is pressure, pressure, pressure and the teams are too good. We’re playing against teams who are better than us and it’s hard to accept that our best at the moment isn’t good enough.

“That’s football. Nothing has changed. We’re still the same lads doing the same jobs… we haven’t turned into bad players overnight. It’s just, on the days, things haven’t gone for us.

“It might have been a different tournament if we had got through the first 10 minutes in both games but, from minute three, we were chasing. It’s very hard. That’s the one regret. If we could have got through them, we might have grown a bit.

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“We’ve been beaten by better teams and hopefully on Monday night we can do our thing and we can stamp a bit of authority on the game. We’re going to win. That’s the aim.

“We have to go out and try and put some pride back into ourselves and the whole country and get three points. We’ve lost two, we don’t want to lose three. The fact we’ve lost two days in a row is hurting us more than people will imagine. We want to put it right on Monday.

“If we win on Monday night it restores a bit of pride, not just in Irish football, in ourselves. We’re more hurt than anyone can imagine. It’s for ourselves to go and win a game,” added Dunne.

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