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Dunne defends 'effective' Irish approach

YET another night of international football in Dublin 4 when entertainment, art and beauty were hard to find.

Not pretty, not easy on the eye, not memorable, but effective: yet again Ireland delivered a result without the accompanying artistry, but for Ireland stalwart Richard Dunne, he cares not a jot about what's said about his team.

"People can talk about us not being exciting to watch but it is effective and come next summer when we're all off to Poland and Ukraine we'll be happy enough," Dunne told the Herald, the man from Tallaght playing a part in the defeat of a brave Armenia side as he marked his 69th cap with his eighth international goal.

"We did the job we had to do and I don't think we could have done any more. The games on Friday and again last night were a case of getting six points - it wasn't pretty but it was effective. We have done that through the group and we will continue that into the play-off."

One aspect of last night's game was the ending of that eight-match run of successive clean sheets, as that 61st-minute goal by Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the first Ireland have conceded since the defeat by Uruguay last March.

Record

"The clean-sheet record had to go at some stage and if it's going to go, it may as well be in a game that you win," Dunne admitted.

"Shay Given was saying before the game that he didn't like hearing about the clean-sheet record as it was bound to go at some stage, you can't go on not conceding forever.

"The important thing is that we didn't cave in after we conceded and we stood up to them," added Dunne, restored to the Irish defence after suspension forced him to take a day off when Ireland played in Andorra.

"Now we're going into the play-offs with a lot of confidence. We believe that no matter who we get in the draw, we will give as good as we get. The teams in the play-offs are all similar, when they look at us they know they'll have a tough battle. For us it's about preparing in the right manner and making ourselves hard to beat."