Mick McCarthy: ‘Ridiculous’ to be disappointed with Georgia draw
Ireland manager says four points from two games against Georgians is a good return
Ireland manager Mick McCarthy felt a draw was not a bad result in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Mick McCarthy has described the idea that Ireland should be deeply disappointed with a draw in Tbilisi as “a ridiculous notion” after his side took just one point from a poor game in the Georgian capital.
The home team was the better one on quite a few fronts although Ireland did go closer to scoring over the 90 minutes but Mccarthy insisted that he was happy to head to Geneva on Sunday morning with another point on the board. The 60-year-old accepted, however, that his players will have to do rather better there if they are get anything of the game against the Swiss.
“I get the feeling, even from the Georgian journalists, that we should be disappointed because we the much better side but I don’t get that, I think that’s a ridiculous notion.
“I think we could have been better with the ball,” he acknowledged, “there’s no doubt about that. When we won it back we kept giving it away again, so that disappoints me but we have another clean sheet and points away from home, clean sheets away from home ... I’d sooner win but I’m not going away disappointed with a point.”
McCarthy did effectively admit that quite a few of his players had come up short on the night but he disputed any suggestion that Georgia should have won a game in which they had more of the ball and generally played the better football.
“Georgia are a very good side, excellent, but we hit the post (through John Egan early on), Duffer could have won it from the corner at the end, Aaron Connolly has had a chance running through. And Darren (Randolph) has not had a save to make so for all the possession and (the way Georgia were) moving it around; our keeper has not made one save.
“We could have been better but defensively we were very good and if you had offered me four points from the two games against Georgia before we started, I would have taken it.
“We didn’t play very well,” he continued. “But we were playing against a team that were closing us down as well. Right from the very start, the kick-off, when Jeff had the first touch, they rattled into a tackle. They knew what was coming from us and they responded in kind.
“They stopped us. We will want to play better that in Switzerland and we have done over the course of this tournament. Each and every one of the players was trying to play as well as they can but sometimes it doesn’t happen and you have to give some credit to the opposition.”
McCarthy said that we was happy with the substitions he made and when he made them, rejecting the suggestion that he might have replaced James Collins with Aaron Connolly earlier in the second with praise for the work that the Luton Town striker had put in, both offensively and defensively. He added that the real problem had been that on the occasions Collins got knockdowns, his teammates generally didn’t do well enough with the second balls.
“We weren’t particularly good in possession; I would have liked to work them (Georgia) more ... I would have liked to win the game.”
His opposite number, Vladimir Weiss, c laimed he was the one who had really chased the victory by committing more bodies to attack as the second half wore on.
“We tried to win,” he said. “We made changes in the end and went to two or three attacking players; we tried to win but it is hard against Ireland, who are very well organised. And we were not helped by the return of Duffy who is a leader for the team.
“We tried to win but we did not have enough quality in the box. We tried to score from the set pieces but we must do better.
“It was a draw and maybe Ireland are also happy because at the end of the game they played five at the back and the coach was perhaps a little nervous. In the end, he might have decided that a draw in Georgia is not so bad.”