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Devastated James McClean lost for words after Ireland mauled 5-1 by Denmark

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

An emotional James McClean has admitted the Republic of Ireland's 5-1 mauling at the hands of Denmark has left him 'devastated'.

James McClean.

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."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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