Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman described the shock 1-0 World Cup qualifier defeat by Luxembourg as a “horrible and embarrassing night”.
The Republic’s World Cup hopes look now in tatters after two opening defeats and Coleman said the Irish “didn’t deserve anything from the game”.
“We got what we deserved, which was nothing,” said the Everton full-back.
“I don’t think we demanded the ball enough and looked to break them down as quickly as we could.”
Speaking on Sky Sports, Coleman added: “It’s a very embarrassing night for us as international players.
“It is what it is. We got beaten 1-0 at home to Luxembourg. That’s no disrespect to Luxembourg. They improved obviously.
“Did we expect to win? I don’t know as players if that was their mindset. It certainly wasn’t my mindset and I would like to think it wasn’t any of our players’ mindset but we got turned over and as players we’ve got to weather the storm now.
“It’s going to be tough. We’re going to get criticism. It’s going to be deserved criticism.”
Coleman, who acknowledged that it was the “worst night” of his international career, added that it was up to the players to accept the blame for Saturday’s shock defeat.
“I’ve never hidden behind the manager at club level and I never hide behind the manager at international level.”
The Everton man said the performance had also “tainted” the international debut of 19-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, who made a number of fine saves before Gerson Rodrigues’ 85th-minute winner for the 98th-ranked visitors.
Performance ‘not good enough’ – Kenny
Manager Stephen Kenny, still searching for his first win as Republic boss after 10 games in charge, admitted the performance was “not good enough”.
“It’s not acceptable to lose in the manner that we did,” said the clearly crestfallen Republic boss.
Asked whether he had to take responsibility for a display which lacked urgency from the off after the promise shown for long periods of Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat in Serbia, Kenny replied: “I’m the manager – of course.
“I changed the system to 3-4-1-2 for the Serbia game. It worked brilliantly because we’ve got players who play that system for their clubs.
“It allowed us to have two strikers as well and obviously we scored two the other night. (But) we didn’t perform to the level that we can tonight.”
Probed on what had gone so disastrously wrong following the encouraging signs exhibited in Belgrade, Kenny said: “Anything I will say will be deemed as an excuse… we have a lot of players not playing.
“It was a second game in three days. It was just too much for them, fitness wise, for a few. We made some changes obviously.
“I’m very, very disappointed. That’s a game we should be winning. We have to accept the criticism that comes our way.
“It’s a bad night here. We have to deal with it and move on. That’s all we can do.”