Devastated James McClean lost for words after Ireland mauled 5-1 by Denmark
An emotional James McClean has admitted the Republic of Ireland's 5-1 mauling at the hands of Denmark has left him 'devastated'.
The Albion winger had been a pivotal part of Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign, helping them reach the two-legged play-offs with the Scandinavians with several important goals.
Martin O'Neill's side held Denmark to a goalless draw in the first leg and then took the lead early on in Dublin through Shane Duffy's header.
But the Danes roared back with five goals, which included a classy Christian Eriksen hat-trick.
And afterwards, a visibly uspet McClean spoke to Irish broadcasters RTE while the visitors were still celebrating.
"I don't know what to say," said McClean. "We shot ourselves (in the foot). We got a great start and then... I don't know what to say.
"I'm just devastated, not just for us but for everyone. It's been a long campaign and we just let ourselves down."
Ireland had reached the play-offs through a mixture of dogged defensive work and sweeping counter-attacks.
But they were outplayed by the Danes for most of the match and when McClean was asked if the result proved that heart alone isn't enough, he said: "Maybe so, I don't know. Maybe the occasion, I just don't know.
"They were just better. I don't know what to say to you, I'm just devastated."