Dunne ridicules Domenech ahead of play-off

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The Independent Online

Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne has launched a blistering attack on France coach Raymond Domenech as their crunch World Cup qualification play-off nears.

Dunne painted Domenech as a hapless man who is "messing up" the France team, who he suggested should have qualified for the World Cup easily given the talent at their disposal.

"Every time a tournament comes round, they [France] have all these world-class players and then a man who seems intent on messing them up," Dunne said in the Guardian.

"Over the last World Cups and European Championships, things have not run smoothly for France; they've always got through but maybe it's time that we put a stop to that.

"And we know that if we can get in front, they probably have not got the man at the top to pull them back around.

"It [Domenech's management] could be a weakness or it could be a big smokescreen; France have played really well in their last few games. But if we can get on top of them and try to turn the game into a battle, we feel we have the stronger personalities."

Domenech's often odd behaviour - not least when he famously proposed to his girlfriend on national television after a France defeat - and his poor record mean he is far from popular at home.

That was borne out this week when he took his players to the Paris Masters tennis tournament, and was booed by the crowd once recognised.

"You can see the reaction of the people at the tennis, when they put his face on the big screen," Dunne added. "The whole place just booed him and his own players laughed at him."

France visit Dublin for the first leg of the qualifier on Saturday before the teams reconvene in Paris on Wednesday.

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