Stephen Kelly reckons Ireland’s strikers missed an opportunity to build confidence in the drab 2-0 win over Gibraltar.

Mick McCarthy’s side forged 29 attempts on goal but needed an own goal and a late header from winger Robbie Brady to secure the Euro 2020 qualifier points at the Aviva.

Defender Shane Duffy, and midfielders Conor Hourihane and Jeff Hendrick scored the goals in Ireland’s previous Group D games, the 1-1 draw with Denmark and the wins over Georgia and Gibraltar, meaning that the strike force has yet to hit the mark. 

Injured in camp ahead of the double-header, Shane Long is Ireland’s most experienced attacker but only has 17 goals from 82 caps.

David McGoldrick and Scott Hogan, who started against Gibraltar, have yet to find the net from ten and four appearances respectively.

Callum Robinson is without an international goal after eight caps, while substitute Seani Maguire is also scoreless from four games. 

"It’s disappointing that some of the forwards weren’t getting on the scoresheet," the former Ireland and Spurs defender told the RTÉ Soccer podcast.

"It was an opportunity for them to break their duck and get an international goal for the first time.

"McGoldrick came close but just so they can go on to the next few games and feel [more confident].

"There’s always going to be this thing of Robbie [Keane’s record of 68 goals] hanging over people’s heads.

"He’s in the coaching staff, that is always going to be there.

"Let’s face it – that’s never going to happen again in Irish football, the level of goals he scored was phenomenal. It’s unbelievable what he did for this country. 

"But it would be good for them to have that confidence that they’ve got one.

"It’s not a bad reflection on the strikers, we’re just not creating enough."