James McClean has criticised some of the ‘over-the-top’ reaction to Ireland’s World Cup play-off exit at the hands of Denmark on Tuesday night.
The Boys in Green suffered a devastating 5-1 loss to Age Hareide’s side, spurred on by the majestic hat-trick hero Christian Eriksen.
After the final whistle, the Irish players and manager Martin O’Neill all came in for some heavy criticism. Posting on his Instagram account on Wedesday morning, McClean has taken exception to those that are ‘sticking the boot in’ while the squad are at theur lowest ebb.
The caption 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 proved to be something of a breakout star from this campaign, scoring four goals and being seen as a leader of men within the squad thanks to his tireless performances. He will, therefore, be expected to play a key role in Ireland’s bid to reach the next European Championships in 2020.