James McClean defends Ireland players after Danish drubbing

West Brom winger hits out at critics on Instagram after World Cup dream fades

A dejected James McClean after Ireland’s 5-1 defeat to Denmark. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

A dejected James McClean after Ireland’s 5-1 defeat to Denmark. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

James McClean has hit out at Ireland’s critics after they were beaten 5-1 by Denmark on Tuesday night, missing out on a place at next summer’s World Cup in the process.

McClean was arguably Ireland’s standout performer during their ultimately ill-fated qualification campaign, scoring key goals in the victories away to Austria and Wales.

But, like the rest of his team mates, he struggled to assert any real influence at the Aviva Stadium - with his usual display of tireless running not enough to trouble a Christian Eriksen-inspired Danish side.

And the West Brom defender has taken to Instagram to defend the Irish players and staff , vowing his side will bounce back in the future.

His post reads: “Last night is going to hurt deep for a long long time, nothing can change or make what happend 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 a irish man and to call everyone of these men fellow country men and team mates! Like a said this will hurt deep, we have been written of so many times before an just like before we will bounce back!”

McClean is likely to be back in action on Saturday as West Brom welcome champions Chelsea to the Hawthorns - setting up a possible reunion with Danish centre-half Andreas Christensen.

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