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Age Hareide: 'We didn't play well and were lucky to get away with a draw'

The Danish boss was impressed by the Irish performance, but his side have moved onto Euro 2020 at their hosts’ expense.

Denmark boss Age Hareide.
Denmark boss Age Hareide.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

 DENMARK MANAGER AGE Hareide admitted his side scantly deserved the 1-1 draw in Dublin that has seen them qualify for the 2020 European Championships. 

“We didn’t play well at all”, the outgoing manager told his post-match press conference. 

“I don’t know what happened. Solid defensive play saw us through the first half. We got in front in the second half and eased off in terms of pressure.” 

As Ireland piled on the pressure in the frantic finale after Matt Doherty’s late equaliser, Hareide bemoaned his side’s poor counter-attacking play.

“At the end after they scored they put a lot of pressure on us. It’s difficult because they had to throw a lot of people forward. We defended with the same amount of people, we filled up the box, and we have to gamble to get the counter-attacks.

“Today we didn’t put the counter-attacks together in the way we wanted. We didn’t play well and are lucky to get away with a draw.” 

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He did reserve further praise for Ireland, saying that a similar performance should be enough for Mick McCarthy’s side to navigate the Uefa Nations League play-offs. Ireland’s semi-final play-off opponents will be determined by Friday’s draw, with Wales, Bosnia and Slovakia potential opponents. 

“Ireland played well and if they keep going like that they will probably come through the Nations League play-offs and qualify.” 

Hareide also paid tribute to the Irish fans at a crammed Aviva Stadium.

“It’s a fantastic place to play, Dublin. With the fans and the songs and the enthusiasm. I feel at home in Dublin!”

He didn’t confirm he feels at home in the place because his side are so frequently drawn to play here. Nonetheless, he leaves it behind to move on to the Euros. 

Ireland, however, have a serious amount of work on their hands to join them. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney  / reports from the Aviva Stadium

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