Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has admitted 2018 has been a deeply disappointing 12 months for his team.

Ireland will play their final fixture of the calendar year in Denmark on Monday evening having won only once in eight outings to date, far from the ideal preparation for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, which get under way in March.

O’Neill has used many of those fixtures to blood new players and experiment with alternative systems, but he is well aware that results have been disappointing.

Asked if expected to have made more progress during the year, he said: “I would have hoped to, absolutely. I would like to have thought we could have found a wee bit more going forward, maybe have got an established goalscorer.

“But it hasn’t been. It’s certainly been a disappointing year in that aspect, no question about it, and we have to regroup.”

However, O’Neill remains convinced that his team will more than make a fist of qualification – indeed, he insisted last month that they would qualify.

Martin O’Neill has been disappointed by the Republic of Ireland's year Martin O’Neill has been disappointed by the Republic of Ireland’s year (Liam McBurney/PA)

He said: “The bigger picture is the Euro qualifiers. There is no question about that, regardless of what happens on Monday night and that has always been the case.

“I think we will be ready for it. We were ready for it a couple of years ago. We had a really strong battle to qualify for the Euros and we got through to the play-offs.

“Hopefully some of the players are coming back. I’m hoping one or two of the young lads in and around the scene, who have only played a couple of games, can come through.

“But like everything else, we have to try and score a goal. That would be nice.”