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European Qualifiers Group D

King proud of Ireland players

Caretaker manager Noel King was proud of Republic of Ireland's display in Germany and believes they should leave with their heads held high.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 09:25 Post Comment

Noel King: Saw Ireland battle bravely against Germany

Noel King: Saw Ireland battle bravely against Germany

Any faint hopes the Irish had of hauling themselves back into World Cup qualification contention were ended on Friday, but they did not go down without a fight.

Germany, one of the favourites to go all the way in Brazil next summer, were made to work hard for a 3-0 success.

King feels Ireland should be given plenty of credit for the manner in which they went about their business, not criticised for soaking up pressure against one of the finest sides around.

He said: "Real football people know what went on tonight. We got to the 89th minute and it was 2-0.

"We had chances to go 2-1 and despite not having the lion's share of possession, to come away from the best team in the world in this environment and create five or six chances, that was a testament to their passion and courage.

"Against a top team in the world, we created chances. I'm delighted with our boys - I'm just sorry we didn't score. I thought we deserved a goal."

Ireland's best chance fell to Anthony Stokes, whose loose pass led to Germany's opener, but he was unable to convert when a header from Ciaran Clark rebounded his way off the crossbar.

King added on the Celtic frontman: "He gave the ball away for the goal, but he worked his socks off. He was very creative and on another day, he could have got a hat-trick.

"But that's the life of a striker. If they score, they are a hero; if they don't, they are mugs."

Stokes admitted he had passed up several chances to get his name on the scoresheet, but insisted he would not dwell on his misses.

Asked about his chance from Clark's effort, he said: "I probably got ahead of the ball. I didn't think it was going to come that far off the bar, but I expected to do a little bit better.

"It was one of those nights. I'll be annoyed for half an hour, and then I'll let it go."

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