We all knew when Stephen Kenny took the reins as Republic of Ireland manager that there would be days like these, losing games where a less sophisticated style of play could have seen the Boys in Green eke out a result, even a victory. 

Finland's 1-0 UEFA Nations League win over Kenny's charges had a familiar feel about it, not only because the hosts prevailed on the same scoreline in Dublin last month. 

For his now five-game tenure we've witnessed plenty of encouraging signs in the Tallaght man's attempt to rebrand Irish football at international level, but goals and results have been hard to come by, with the team now on a four-game goal drought which stretches back to the 1-1 draw against Bulgaria in Kenny's first game in charge. 

Reflecting on the defeat in Helsinki, former Ireland striker Stephen Elliott told listeners of RTÉ's Game On: "He's going to be given time and he's got to be given time.

"There's been a lot of obstacles in his way over the past couple of weeks, but at the same time you have to say that you need results. 

"You need to get the balance right between getting the result and getting the performance.

"If you look at the results since Stephen's gone in, you wouldn't say that balance has been achieved yet.

"Everybody can see what he's trying to do with his team and on another day those chances go in."

Ireland continued with their attempt to play with panache throughout the 90 minutes and optimists, including Elliott, will cite the chances that Ireland created as cause for encouragement ahead of future assignments. 

"Matt Doherty had a great header at the end flicked over the bar," Elliott enthused. 

"Ronan Curtis, when he came on, looked lively and had a good header. We hit the crossbar through Enda Stevens. 

"These are chances that on another day could have gone in, but we can't keep saying this forever and ever because it's going to get to a stage where Stephen himself will get fed up.

"But it's another defeat at the end of the day. That's what the record books will show, but there are positives.  

"The young lads coming in, they're going to benefit in the long run from having that matchday experience of travelling with the squad and it's good to see the crowds back at the games as well. Hopefully that's something we may see more of in the future."