James McClean blasted Republic of Ireland’s critics after his brace secured a 3-1 World Cup qualifying win in Moldova.
Ireland opened their qualifying campaign with a hard-fought draw in Serbia before an unconvincing win at home to Georgia.
McClean feels the coverage Ireland received after those matches was harsh, though, and took aim at the media following the win in Moldova that helped Martin O’Neill’s side go joint-top of Group D.
“We got a lot of flak after the Serbia game, a lot of flak after the Georgia game, and we didn’t want a repeat,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think [it’s been] unfairly so, as well. I think the Irish press need to have a reality check that we’re not going to blow teams away.
“We’ve always been a team that works hard, but a win’s never been enough. We’re happy to get a win and we’re happy to be on seven points.”
McClean believes that Ireland are in a “no-win” situation when it comes to pleasing their naysayers.
He added: “Our fans are brilliant. They follow us home and away, these supporters, and they’re amazing.
“But, for some reason, with the media it seems to be a no-win situation. If we play pretty football and we don’t win, we should have won. If we don’t play pretty football and we win, we need to play better football.
“I’ve always been one of those people that says a win’s a win, no matter how it comes.”