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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 21:08 GMT 22:08 UK
Staunton defiant despite defeat
Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton
Steve Staunton looks concerned during Wednesday's game
Republic of Ireland boss Steve Staunton remained defiant despite his team's 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic on Wednesday night.

The result looks to have ended the Irish team's hopes of qualification for the Euro 2008 Finals.

"We are in a building process. I said that from day one. It's coming along nicely," said the Irish manager.

Staunton criticised the Stephen Hunt's red card and also felt his team could have been awarded a penalty.


"It was a very harsh red card and we were unfortunate with Doyler (Kevin Doyle) hitting the post and Paul McShane's effort.

"I'd like to see the incident of Aiden McGeady in the penalty area because the boy just ran into him. There were grounds for a penalty there.

"There are some good young players coming through. They are getting games under their belt and hopefully by the time the World Cup campaign comes around, we'll have a settled team."

Czech boss Karel Bruckner described Hunt's sending-off as "not really necessary", while Staunton claimed Greek referee Kyros Vassaras had been influenced by the play-acting of some Czech players.

"Stephen has won the ball and his momentum took him through. The player acted injured but was up running around when Hunty had got off the pitch.

Stephen Hunt's better performances have always been as a substitute

Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton

"There was a lot of play-acting and I wasn't happy with their centre-half Radoslav Kovac. The referee looked like he was only going to give him a yellow card until Kovac said something to him."

Despite the influence Hunt clearly had during his brief spell on the pitch, Staunton insisted he was justified in not starting with the Reading man and instead preferring Kevin Kilbane on the left of midfield.

Staunton added: "Hunty's better performances have always been as a substitute. When he's started, they haven't been as good.

"He's an impact player and he has only come into the fold in the last 12 months."

To add to Staunton's woes, he revealed the man Hunt replaced, John O'Shea, may have suffered a bad injury.

Staunton added: "John will go for a scan but it could be a little tear in a knee ligament."

Czech boss Karel Bruckner sprang to the defence of Hunt and paid tribute to the Irish, insisting: "They played fair although there was this sending-off, which I do not really think was necessary."

Bruckner added: "It certainly wasn't easy but the result is good. Our performance was certainly better in the first half.

Czech Republic 1-0 Rep of Ireland
12 Sep 07 |  Internationals

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