No hard feelings for Doherty if Coleman starts against Denmark

McCarthy seems to have concluded both right backs unsuited to playing together

Matt Doherty insists he will be right behind Séamus Coleman if the Everton right back starts ahead of him in the Euro 2020 qualifying game against Denmark in Copenhagen this Friday.

His comments come after Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy concluded that the experiment of playing the Donegalman behind the Dubliner in the opening game of this campaign simply hadn't worked.

Doherty lasted less than an hour in Gibraltar before being replaced by Robbie Brady, McCarthy's bid to include the two right-backs in the one team having failed to come off and the manager has made fairly clear since that he does not anticipate attempting to combine them again any time soon.

Instead, he seems set to stick with the changed formation and line-up he selected for the home game against Georgia against whom Ireland looked more assured. That means Doherty losing out, for the moment at least, despite having had an outstanding season for Wolves in the Premier League.


“It [the club campaign] almost went perfectly,” he says. “The only glitch was the semi-final against Watford. That was really tough to take; it affected us for a couple of weeks. Was sickened after that. Not by the loss but by the manner of it; throwing it away at the end.

“But I’ve never come here with a guarantee to play. I’ll try and do the best I can and if I don’t play, I’ll support Seamus. Seamus and I are quite close, good friends around the camp. Whoever plays will have the backing of the other.

“I know Séamus obviously plays to a high level,” he continued after being told that McCarthy has indicated he feels the matter has been settled for the moment.

“I play to a high level as well. It’s just one or the other. He’s just got to pick one. And like I said, there are no hard feelings at all. Whoever plays, we’ll support each other; they’ll have that backing. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter who plays once we win the game, that’s the most important thing.”


ame wavelength

Still, the 27-year-old ,who McCarthy originally signed for Wolves from Bohemians almost a decade ago, believes that the door should not be closed on the pair playing together after just one game, a match in which there were other factors at play, not least the artificial surface.

The pair didn’t seem to be entirely on the same wavelength but it was far from the only glitch on an evening when quite a few things looked as though they needed more time to come together.

“I don’t look back at it that much,” he says, “but I might look back and think ‘was I really that bad?’. We will have a talk and a think. Okay, I don’t look back on it with that many good memories but what worked that day?

“We believe we can play together but we have to wait and see, it might happen again and everything could work, it was one of them games, one of those days where it didn’t come off but we still did some nice things, we still linked up a few times and it wasn’t a total disaster.

“I don’t know how we persuade him, just keep training is the only thing you can do. The more you do it, though, the more you become accustomed to each other’s way of playing.

“That was first time we ever played together. We believe we can work together down that side but I am not sure it will happen any time soon. At the end of the day, though, I understand he is going to pick one of us at right-back and whoever that is will have the full support of the other.”