Damien Duff has slammed Ireland’s performance against Denmark in Copenhagen, and says “there is no reason to think we will go through” after the second leg on Tuesday.
Martin O’Neill’s men produced a 0-0 stalemate at Parken Stadium, but in a familiar trend, struggled to maintain possession throughout.
Darren Randolph made some crucial saves throughout, while Cyrus Christie had Ireland’s best chance in the first half, but was denied by the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel.
“Without the ball, yeah brilliant we defend well, show spirit and desire, but you expect that from Irish players. You expect that from Irish people, with the man in the street,” Duff said on RTÉ afterwards.
“With the ball….Jim Beglin said it was ugly and it wasn’t even that pretty. It was awful stuff. We must be able to do better than that. Harry Arter plays in a football team (at Bournemouth), Callum O’Dowda is a player, James McClean as well.
“Being in that team, you must feel demoralised at times. The ball is just bypassing you. I know that’s the game plan, but without the ball it was awful.”
The former Ireland international doesn’t think the boys in green will dominate the Danes on home soil on Tuesday, and says O’Neill’s side will sit back if they take an early lead.
“The disappointing thing is that we didn’t go toe-to-toe with them, we never took the game to them.
“Our form at the Aviva Stadium, there is no reason to think we will go through or take the game to them, but we have to score.
“If we go 1-0 up in the opening 20 minutes, we will sit back for 70 minutes, fact. We have done that since I was playing. You think back to the results in the group. Serbia lost, Austria 1-1, Wales 0-0…I don’t think we are going to dominate on Tuesday.”