Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dunne upbeat despite disappointing draw

Ireland defender Richard Dunne admitted to some "disappointment" after yesterday evenings draw at home to Bulgaria - but is still confident of progression from World Cup Qualifying Group Eight.

Ireland scored via Dunne after only 40 seconds at Croke Park but were pegged back by a Kevin Kilbane own goal in the second half.

It was an outcome which, along with Italy's 2-0 win at Montenegro, means Giovanni Trapattoni's team will head to his homeland this week three points adrift of their table-topping opponents.

Bulgaria remain a further seven points behind the Republic, and Dunne told Sky Sports 1: "They are a good side. They knew how bad a situation it would be for them if they lost - and they made it difficult for us.

"We started really well and really should have been pushing on."

The eventual draw left Dunne equivocal - but still believing Ireland can put Italy in the shade.

"I think for us, we had to keep the seven-point gap - minimum," he said.

"It is a disappointing result - we are disappointed not to get the points - but we are still in a good position.

"We've said all along we don't fear Italy, so we feel we can go there on Wednesday and get a result."

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