Former Republic of Ireland international Kenny Cunningham believes that a little less attacking freedom and more rigidity in their build-up play could benefit Stephen Kenny's side.

Speaking on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast, Cunningham made the argument that a more structured pattern of play and continuation of an attacking duo rather than a trio, as featured against Scotland, could lead the way for Ireland.

For Cunningham, Ireland have been playing with almost too much freedom up front in recent time, with off-the-cuff play taking precedence over a more tactical and rigid approach.

The RTÉ soccer analyst believes that a bit less freedom could serve Ireland well in the long run.

"I’d actually like to see us play with a little bit more fixed patterns of play," he said.

"When I look at the Armenia game and all the possession we had, for me there was too much freedom. Too much playing off the cuff ahead of the ball.

"I don’t think we built enough sustained attacks in the Armenia half of the pitch and that was because we didn’t have enough fixed patterns.

"When our wing-backs had the ball I don’t think our three forward players really got themselves into positions to link up with the wing-backs and receive the ball higher up the pitch and build-pressure."

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During Ireland's 3-0 victory over Scotland, manager Stephen Kenny changed from an attacking trio to a front two, with Michael Obafemi and Troy Parrott leading the line and Jason Knight tucking into midfield.

Cunningham believes that having a two-man attack helped the ball to stick up front and was the platform for most of Ireland's best attacking play.

"When you have a pairing up front, it really helps you," he said. "If you're a midfielder or wing-back and you pick up the ball inside the opposition’s half of the pitch, now you’ve got two centre-forwards playing him up the pitch, 15 yards apart.

"If James McClean or Alan Browne get the ball in those wing-back positions, they should always have a pass into the centre-forwards feet.

"If we can make that ball stick 30 yards out from the opposition’s goal, that’s a real gateway then.

"I like to see fixed patterns of play on the pitch and I think there’s more to come from us in that respect.

"That wasn’t a perfect attacking performance from us against Scotland, but it was the first time we played that particular system and I think we can get better.

"We can get our front two more into the game and if we get our front two more into the game then that midfield three will join in, wing-backs will join in more and we’ll have more pressure and more sustained attacks on the opposition goal.

"I’m excited because as good as that performance and result was against Scotland, for me there’s more we can tap into with this system going forward."

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