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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

'He doesn't know the players' - Denmark hit back at David Meyler comments

The Hull midfielder claimed the Boys in Green have more heart and desire than their rivals.

Christian Eriksen and other Denmark players pictured training at the Aviva Stadium this evening.
Christian Eriksen and other Denmark players pictured training at the Aviva Stadium this evening.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DENMARK HAVE HIT back at comments made by Ireland midfielder David Meyler, insisting they will have the stomach for the fight at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow night.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Meyler suggested the Boys in Green would prevail in Tuesday’s World Cup play-off second leg

“I only see one outcome, I think Ireland are going to the World Cup. I don’t think anyone will stand in our way,” the Hull midfielder said.

“They (Denmark) are a very good team, very good players, but they don’t have the character and the heart and the desire that we have.”

Meyler’s comments were quoted back to Denmark coach Age Hareide at today’s pre-match press conference, and the 64-year-old dismissed the remarks.

My thought is that he doesn’t know the players,” he said. “A quote like that, then he doesn’t know the players.

“At the beginning when we started, I didn’t even know the players myself, but after working with them up to this game, I know them.

“Most of our players are spread out in the whole of Europe, some with great experience and they don’t get that far if they don’t have the heart and the brains to play football.

It’s not only about winning duels and fighting, it’s about skill and also to adapt to different cultures. We have a strong team now and hopefully we will show that tomorrow.”

Hareide also felt confident that his side could last 120 minutes if necessary in the intense cauldron that the Aviva Stadium tends to be on big footballing nights.

He also suggested that more players in his squad have the experience of playing twice a week, with the likes of Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel having experienced European as well as domestic football for their clubs, often having to play two games a week.

Brentford defender Andreas Bjelland also insisted his side could match Ireland’s spirit and work rate.

“We’re talking about a game that takes you to the World Cup,” he said. “So of course, we have the fighting mentality, even if it goes to extra-time at the end of the game, so we’ll fight with them if they want to fight, but that’s not our gameplan — it’s to get it down and move them around.”

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Paul Fennessy

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