McCarthy confirms Ireland have clean bill of health for Switzerland

Ireland head into crunch fixture with a five point lead but Swiss will offer a sterner test

Mick McCarthy will have a full squad to choose from when Ireland face Switzerland on Thursday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mick McCarthy will have a full squad to choose from when Ireland face Switzerland on Thursday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy expects to have a full squad to choose from on Thursday evening when his side takes on Switzerland in what will be the biggest test they have faced yet in this European Championship qualifying group.

“They’re all okay so that’s news,” said McCarthy at his pre-match press conference in Abbotstown on Wednesday morning. “Good news.”

Ireland lead their qualifying group by five points from Denmark with the Swiss, who are the top seeds, a point further back but with two games in hand on McCarthy’s side who have played what would generally be regarded as their three most winnable games already.

The draw obtained in Copenhagen has put Ireland in a strong early position but the manager acknowledges that this week’s visitors, who recently slipped out of the world’s top 10, will present another major challenge for his players.

He is confident, however, that they can maintain their early momentum in front of what is expected to be a big crowd at the Aviva stadium.

“They are a possession based team,” he says. “We have watched them and they like to dominate teams with possession but we will be doing our best to stop that.”

Irish skipper Seamus Coleman says that the mood around the squad is positive as they prepare for such a big game. “There is a great buzz around it,” he says, “the calibre of the (Swiss) team, the fact that we are at home and the results that we already have on the board.”

McCarthy is expected to stick to much the same side that started in Copenhagen although Robbie Brady is not in the squad due to injury.

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