James McClean has released a passionate statement defending his teammates and the Irish management team.
The boys in green have come in for some heavy criticism from both the media and the public following last night’s 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Denmark in the Aviva, a result which emphatically ended Ireland’s hopes of reaching Russia next summer.
The West Brom winger – who was tearful in his post-match interview – has accused people of kickingÂ “players and staff when they are down,” and claims “some over the top beyond football comments is bang out of order”.
“Last night is going to hurt deep for a long long time,” his social media postÂ read.
“Nothing can change or make what happened last night right, of course everyone is entitled to voice their opinion because it was simply not good enough from us on the night, we know that ourselves, but to stick the boot in and kick players and staff when they are down ( players and staff have been great servants to this country, players and staff that have qualified for a major tournament and was unlucky to be knocked out to a great team in the last 16, players and staff that was one game from making it to a world cup, players and staff that would give anything for this great country! ) with some over the top beyond football comments is bang out of order, hurting or not and trust me when a say this we hurt every bit as much as you do.
“I am proud and honoured to be an Irish man and to call everyone of these men fellow country men and team mates! Like (I) said this will hurt deep, we have been written of so many times before an just like before we will bounce back!”
McClean finished as Ireland’s top scorer during the World Cup qualification campaign, and told RTÃ‰ Sport that he was “devastated not just for us but for everyone” after last night’s miserable display.