Mick McCarthy happy to take a point in Switzerland
Ireland need to win one of last two matches to qualify for Euro 2020
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy: “We will give it our all, we will try to win the game. But I don’t think it is do or die, though. It is for them. They have to beat us but that’s not the case for us.”
Mick McCarthy says that although the Republic of Ireland will again try to win their European Championship qualifier in Geneva on Wednesday night, he would be “absolutely” happy with a draw.
Ireland need to win one of their remaining two games in the qualification campaign and taking one point from this game would mean the team’s fortunes would come down to having to beat Denmark in Dublin next month.
A draw here would put the Danes through and leave the Swiss needing favours. The most tangible benefit from an Irish perspective would be the fact that Age Hareide’s side would have nothing of consequence to play for in November.
“We’ve gone into every game trying to win it and we will do exactly the same thing here,” said McCarthy, although he disagreed with the suggestion by his opposite number, Vladimir Petkovic, that the match is “like a cup final”.
“We’ll approach it trying to win it,” said the 60 year-old. “That’s what we’ll try to do. But it’s far from a free shot. They were excellent against Denmark and we will give it our all, we will try to win the game. But I don’t think it is do or die, though. It is for them. They have to beat us but that’s not the case for us.”
The Swiss, McCarthy suggested, are the best team in the group. “But it doesn’t mean that they will beat us or that they will win the group.”
The manager said that all of his players are fit and available. He declined to reveal whether Aaron Connolly will start the game or what other changes he might make but Enda Stevens is expected to replace Matt Doherty at left back as the Sheffield United defender is available again after having served a one match suspension in Georgia.
Asked about comments by former Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel on Saturday to the effect that the Swiss needn’t worry about Ireland as they are “so bad,” Petkovic said that he had seen Ireland play in Denmark and “they weren’t all that bad at all”.