Former Republic of Ireland international Stephen Elliott feels a win must come in the closing World Cup qualifiers to justify Stephen Kenny's approach as manager of the team.

A wave of optimism came over players and supporters in the Aviva Stadium last night after the 1-1 draw with Serbia.

While the visitors dominated for large parts of the game, Ireland finished strongly in a resolute performance as once again the new generation of talent showed the future may be brighter than results have shown.

Ireland have games with Azerbaijan and Luxembourg as well as the visit of Portugal to Dublin in the closing World Cup qualifiers.

Speaking to RTÉ this morning, the ex-Manchester City striker said: "You have to move forward with it. We want to win some games soon with it and I still think there are a few things that need to be tweaked with the players we have got. We need to get a win.

"Stephen needs to get a competitive win. He has spoken about looking to the 2024 campaign but I think it will be eating away at him and eating away at the players (that they haven't won a competitive game). They've got pride and you want to win international games, especially competitive ones.

"Some of the teams we played, you could argue we win those games on another day, but you can't keep talking about it. Winning one of those games would be a big relief for everybody and then you can move forward and get away from the constant question of trying to play this way and not getting results. It feels like forever since we won a competitive game and it's a little bit frustrating."

Reflecting on the game last night, Elliot was pleased to see the dedication shown rewarded with a favourable result.

The Nikola Milenkovic own goal brought relief and joy to home fans and players as the likes of Gavin Bazunu and Andrew Omobamidele saw their stock rise further.

Elliott continued: "I'm happy for the squad and Stephen to get the point. We all watched the game and we rode our luck at times.

"The goalkeeper was outstanding with some of the saves he has made. I think he has been really good in all of the games if I'm honest. But last night especially he really came up trumps.

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"I think the team did try to play out at times without really hurting Serbia. They had a lot of the ball and they are a good team so we did ride our luck. But the fact we hung in there and stayed in the game (gave us the opportunity to get a result). I really think the crowd helped the team.

"The noise of the crowd, you could sense something could be there for us and the players reacted to it well. If anything we gave it a right good go.

"I know the goal was one of the scrappiest you're ever going to see but maybe we deserved that little bit of luck after the Portugal game, conceding two late goals, and Azerbaijan was a hard one to take. Sometimes you deserve a little bit of luck."