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Watch: Eamon Dunphy Uses Shane Long As Example Of Character In This Irish Team

Watch: Eamon Dunphy Uses Shane Long As Example Of Character In This Irish Team
By Mikey Traynor
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Eamon Dunphy had to admit that he was wrong to criticise Martin O'Neill's team selection before kick-off as Ireland went out and put in a heroic performance in Cardiff on Monday night.

The RTE pundit wanted Robbie Brady at left-back instead of Stephen Ward, and Wes Hoolahan in for Jeff Hendrick, but speaking after the game he accepted that O'Neill had played his cards right and spoke of the intangible qualities that this Ireland squad has.

It was during that point when Dunphy said something extremely interesting about a moment that many Ireland fans may have missed. As he made the point that no playoff team would want to face Ireland, he singled out Shane Long as a shining example of the character and genuine togetherness of this Ireland squad.


Dunphy highlighted Long's reaction as he was substituted for Sean Maguire having had a stinker against Moldova. Long would have been frustrated and upset to come off, but he gave Maguire a big - sincere - hug and well wishes as he entered the pitch, and that struck a chord with Eamon.

We do have this great quality of courage and togetherness, there's a spirit about them.

I saw Shane Long coming off the other night, and a young kid from Cork who could be his successor is coming on, and he gives him a big hug. You know? Really, genuinely wishing him all the best after having a nightmare himself where he missed three good chances.

That's character. And generosity, within that team.

What Liam said is right, no-one in this playoff hat will want to draw us, because we have things that go beyond the technical that are actually fundamental to any united effort.

That was really well said.

There is something different when it comes to Ireland. We punch above our weight, and it's down to every player selected in the squad caring about the collective over themselves without exception.


Long is a lovely man, of course, but that little gesture speaks volumes about the atmosphere in the camp, which was one of the main reasons given for Martin O'Neill being kept on for the next campaign.

Fair play to Dunphy for highlighting that moment when it would have been easy to forget considering how much he had to discuss regarding tonight's win.

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