"Our own media wrote us off" - James McClean delighted to prove Ireland critics wrong
Winger scored the crucial winner against Wales in Cardiff and chatted to Nathan20:16 Thursday 12 October 2017, 20:16 12 Oct 2017
James McClean's 10th international goal was certainly his most important to date.
On his weaker foot, the winger converted Jeff Hendrick's cross to net the Ireland winner in Cardiff that saw Martin O'Neill's side pip Wales to a 2018 FIFA World Cup playoff place.
With the dust settling from a great night for Irish football, McClean joined Nathan to reflect on Monday night.
The West Bromwich Albion player recalled those seconds after the goal went in.
"I just remember after the goal saying to the lads, 'Make sure we don't drop to the edge of the box, sit in and just invite them on us'. After the goal, it just felt like an eternity until the final whistle," he said, adding that the back four and goalkeeper Darren Randolph deserve credit.
Ireland's James McClean scores his sides opening goal ©INPHO/James Crombie
The Co Derry native also had a word in regards to the media criticism after the September matches when they lost to Serbia and drew disappointingly with Georgia.
"Obviously having a defeat like that, it does hurt. It hurt very badly," he said of the lost points.
"But we still had a very good chance of qualifying and I think the way the media reacted in a way they wrote us off and they gave the manager a lot of criticism and the players criticism."
Touching on the turnaround that delivered wins against Moldova and Wales to seal the playoff spot, he continued: "It was a nice feeling to prove a lot of people wrong. It was kind of an added bonus on top of everything else. Our own media wrote us off, 'this one's for you do you know what I mean?'"
On the style of play, he added, "We're never going to be a team that's going to pass teams off the park but we're hard to beat. I think we've only lost three qualifier games since the manager's taken over."
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