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King looks to Ireland future

Interim boss Noel King feels he has sown the seeds for a more expansive approach from the Republic of Ireland in future.

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Noel King: Interim Republic of Ireland boss watches on in Dublin

Noel King: Interim Republic of Ireland boss watches on in Dublin

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The Republic ended a run of three successive World Cup qualifying Group C defeats by beating Kazakhstan 3-1 in Dublin on Tuesday in their final match, as King tasted victory at the second attempt.

Having added the previously discarded Andy Reid and Anthony Stokes to the mix, he saw his team fight back from an early setback to claim the points at the Aviva Stadium and, he believes, pave the way for a new future - if Giovanni Trapattoni's permanent successor wants it.

King said: "It depends who comes in. If a manager comes in and wants to play long ball, well maybe some of that stuff is not as important as it was.

"If a manager comes in and wants to play a passing game, there were certainly seeds sown there."

Asked if the squad was in better shape now that it had been before he took over, King, who adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation both on Tuesday and in Germany on Friday, said: "The group would have played a different type of football in the last two games.

"I think they would have defended in a different way and I think they would have attacked in a different way.

"That's my way and I was very clear even before I took the job it was going to be my way, and that's why I was so worried because if my way wasn't successful, then it wouldn't have been very nice."

Ireland's evening got off to an inauspicious start when Kazakhstan defender Dmitriy Shomko rifled a 25-yard drive across keeper David Forde and inside the far post to give the visitors a 13th-minute lead.

But the Republic have been able to rely upon skipper Robbie Keane to get them out of trouble for so long and on a night when he did not have one of his better games for his country playing as a lone frontman, the 33-year-old dragged them back into it with a calmly-converted penalty three minutes later.

That was Keane's 61st senior goal for his country, but their second on the night came from a much less prolific source when defender John O'Shea struck for just the second time in his 93rd appearance.

The scoring was wrapped up 13 minutes from time when Shomko could only help substitute Aiden McGeady's cross into his own goal under pressure from Kevin Doyle and Keane.

However, the performance did not meet with universal acclaim and King was unhappy with some of the criticism which was levelled at the team by pundits afterwards.

He said: "Every player works, every player has his strengths and his weaknesses. They have worked their socks off for themselves, for their families, for Ireland and they deserve credit.

"They have got a victory, they don't deserve to be ridiculed by anybody. We need to stop that, we need to appreciate who we are as a country, what we are capable of and get on and try to become the best international football team we can be.

"Give up the nonsense."

Kazakhstan boss Miroslav Beranek admitted Ireland had deserved to win the game.

He said: "We played very well in the first half, we scored a wonderful goal, then we couldn't manage to succeed in what we wanted to do.

"In the second half, Ireland played very well and they deserved to win in the end I congratulate the Irish team on their victory."

However, there was bad news for both Ireland and Everton when midfielder Darron Gibson, who has only just returned to the international fold after his difference of opinion with Trapattoni, was carried from the field on a stretcher with suspected knee ligament damage before half-time.

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