Mick McCarthy would ‘be thrilled with a draw’ against Denmark

Ireland boss has a full squad to pick from as he plans aggressive approach

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy and captain Séamus Coleman at Thursday’s press conference at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy and captain Séamus Coleman at Thursday’s press conference at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Mick McCarthy has confirmed he will pick from a full squad for Friday night’s European Championship qualifier against Denmark in Copenhagen.

Sitting alongside his captain for the game, Séamus Coleman, McCarthy made it absolutely clear that he would be more than happy to take home a solitary point from the encounter and acknowledged that good as Ireland’s start to the new campaign has been, this will be his side’s toughest test to date by quite some distance.

“I’d be thrilled with a draw,” he said, “which is not to say that we have come here to sit back and not try to win the game . . . we will approach it in a very attacking, aggressive way.

“We played Gibraltar, a game we had to win and we barely did that. We played well against Georgia and I guess the blueprint here is to play as well as we did then but I’m fully aware that Denmark are a a very different proposition.

“We have to play them twice and we have to play Switzerland twice; I watched them last night against Portugal, they are an excellent team. So if you don’t mind, I’ll just try to take it one game at a time. If we get a result from this I’ll be far more optimistic.”

McCarthy’s opposite number, Age Hareide, also has everyone available for the game and he says that despite the shift in emphasis under the new manager, the Danes all know precisely what to expect from the visitors on Friday night.

“We have seen the difference in the set-up of the way that they wanted to play against Georgia,” he said. “Even against Gibraltar, although it was difficult for the Irish that day because of the conditions.

“We know this Ireland team very well,” he continued. “We have played them many times now and so we know what to expect. They are physically strong and well organised. If they want to come higher and press us then that’s okay; we have to be ready for that too.”

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