Shane Duffy tries to piece it all together after Ireland fall short

Ireland captain rues Braithwaite’s goal as his side now head for the Euro 2020 play-offs

Shane Duffy captained Ireland as they were held 1-1 by Denmark in Dublin. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Shane Duffy captained Ireland as they were held 1-1 by Denmark in Dublin. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Shane Duffy had the look of a man with shellshock as he stood and spoke, but he clearly hadn’t quite satisfactorily pieced together what had just transpired inside his own head. There was a lot for the Irish captain to get to grips with on a night when the team had produced perhaps its best performance of the campaign but still conceded the soft goal that made qualification almost an impossibility for a side that scores so few.

“It’s tough to take at the minute,” said the towering defender from Derry not long enough after the final whistle for the outcome to have truly sunk in. “I’m just trying to sort of stay positive that we played well. We’re not out yet so just trying to take positives from it. But it’s disappointing to have conceded a sloppy goal. Having played so well, we probably deserved to win but we didn’t get it.

“It (Martin Braithwaite’s close range effort 17 minutes from time) was just obviously a lack of communication between me and Matt (Doherty),” he said. “He’s cut back in. There’s no pressure on the ball so I dropped to head the cross away. That’s football, we make mistakes together and we win together, as simple as.

“Obviously the higher level we go up you can’t make mistakes, you get punished, and if you want to qualify for major tournaments it’s something we are going to have to learn from. That’s the only slight little error we made all game and they punished us.”

Shane Duffy reacts after missing a chance against Denmark. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Shane Duffy reacts after missing a chance against Denmark. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

He had one chance himself in the first half after an Irish corner had been partially cleared and Glenn Whelan sought to pick him out at the far post, but the Danes knew how much would hinge on their defending against Duffy and they did that part of their job well with Kasper Dolberg, on that occasion, doing enough to frustrate the Irishman.

“We’ve played them so many times that they probably know everything about us at this stage and so credit to them, they defended me quite well tonight. That was difficult for me but we did have a few chances for the other lads.

“It’s difficult because you are out there and you are feeling ‘surely we are going to get a goal here in a minute’ and then they just go and sort of kill you with a goal. It’s quite hard for the first couple of minutes after that but you could see the fans kept us going and even when we were 1-0 down they were still rallying behind us. Then we got the goal and it changed, we sort of threw the kitchen sink at it but it just didn’t drop for us.”

Like Duffy, Doherty’s demeanour was a clear indication of just how disappointed he was but the Wolves wing back insisted that Ireland can build on this performance to qualify through the play-offs.

“It’s sickening, really to be honest,” he said. “I thought we played really well. We definitely deserved to win the game. They had one chance and managed to score and we looked like the better team tonight. We played really good stuff; I thought so anyway.”

In terms of chances, he acknowledged, there was not so much to shout about: “Probably nothing clear cut but I think we were definitely in the ascendancy. I think the momentum was behind us, but during the whole group we have struggled to score goals.

“Of course we know that March is to come but we were pretty confident tonight and played out from the back, our shape was good, our movement was good. If everyone can stay in form and stay fit, though, then the play-offs should be good for us.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.