Martin O’Neill bemoaned the Republic of Ireland’s missed opportunities in the first half but admitted that Denmark deserved their victory as they won 5-1 in Dublin on Tuesday.
The defeat in the play-off second leg means that the Irish will not be going to the World Cup in the summer following a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Scandinavia.
A hat-trick from Christian Eriksen, plus an own goal from Cyrus Christie and a penalty from Nicklas Bendtner meant Shane Duffy’s early goal meant nothing.
And O’Neill made his feelings clear after the final whistle on a poor night for the Republic of Ireland.
“We’re really disappointed,” O’Neill said following the heavy defeat. “We were well beaten in the end. The two goals we conceded within a couple of minutes knocked us. They were really poor goals to concede. We had to chase the game and Denmark took advantage. They deserved to go through.
“We had two great chances to make it 2-0. We needed either of those to go in to get a real foothold in the game. That didn’t happen and Denmark were clinical.”
Meanwhile, Eriksen was delighted to get three goals and help his nation reach the World Cup in Russia.
“It is an incredible feeling,” said Eriksen. “We have been fighting for so long to get to the World Cup. We are very much looking forward to it.
“It is not often I score any hat-trick so of course it is incredible. The second goal was the most technical one, better than the others. I know how nervous I was all day and night. We got the ball, we played better than the first game.
“Mentally I have grown up. I take the more clinical shot rather than passing. I am thinking more like a striker.”