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Dublin: 10°C Friday 7 May 2021

'Only if someone clumps him' - McCarthy doubts Champions League will affect Eriksen

Denmark’s kingpin is playing against Liverpool just six days before facing Ireland.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen.
Denmark's Christian Eriksen.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SO MICK, WILL the fact that Christian Eriksen is playing a Champions League final just six days before he is due to face your Irish team in a Euro 2020 qualifier going to work in your favour? 

“Only if someone clumps him.” 

Denmark’s kingpin will be as vital as always in Ireland’s latest visit to Copenhagen, and although he will be facing Ireland less than a week after playing against Liverpool in Madrid, McCarthy doesn’t believe that it will diminish his performance.

The Irish manager cited the impact Josh Cullen has had in the Irish camp days after his Charlton side won the League One play-off final at Wembley. 

“I’ve just seen Josh Cullen come in, who has just played a play-off final: he’s created the winning goal, he’s having a brilliant time and he looks like he is enjoying his football. He was different class today in training.

“If Christian Eriksen wins it, and then comes in that frame of mind, then we could be in trouble.

“If he loses it…he’s just a top player. We have to deal with him whatever happens.

“If he has a disappointment, I doubt very much it will affect him that much against us.

“And if he wins it, he’s a bloody good player anyway so it makes no odds.”

7 June is the date for a fifth (!) clash with Denmark since November 2017, with the previous games featuring a total of six goals…all of which came in the World Cup play-off defeat at the Aviva. 

McCarthy doesn’t believe that the memory of that hammering will inhibit his side at the Parken Stadium next week. 

“We are playing one of the best sides in the group. It’s a different game. They might have the same team, but we have a different team and a different way of playing, whatever it might be.

“I tend not to look back. If I’ve lost heavily I wouldn’t be worried about that loss, I’d be more focused on getting a win.

“I don’t think it resonates with them at all. I hope it doesn’t. If I had been beaten badly by someone, it would be revenge I’d be looking for, and not looking back as if it’s something to worry about.

“It’s the complete opposite.”

Mick McCarthy Mick McCarthy speaks to the media today. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

McCarthy confirmed he will re-watch the previous four clashes in the lead-up to the renewal of rivalries next week, to see if anything can be gleaned in terms of improving the Irish performance. 

Luca Connell will not be part of the Irish squad for either that game or the subsequent home tie with Gibraltar: he has left the squad with a thigh strain. With Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan linking up with the squad on Saturday – along with Derby’s Richard Keogh – McCarthy is not planning to add to his squad. 

The full Irish squad for the upcoming qualifiers is as follows: 

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Sean McDermott, James Talbot
Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, Kevin Long, John Egan, Greg Cunningham, Enda Stevens
Midfielders: Alan Judge, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, Josh Cullen, Robbie Brady, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean, Ronan Curtis
Forwards: Shane Long, David McGoldrick, Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson, Scott Hogan

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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