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Dublin: 8°C Monday 8 March 2021

McCarthy concedes Ireland were beaten by 'a considerably better team'

The Republic of Ireland manager saw his side go down 2-0 to Switzerland in Geneva this evening.

mick-mccarthy-with-alan-browne-after-the-game Ireland manager Mick McCarthy consoles midfielder Alan Browne after tonight's loss to Switzerland. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

AFTER TONIGHT’S DEFEAT to Switzerland, Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy lamented his side’s first-half performance, as well as their inaccuracy in possession, as they went down 2-0 in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Geneva.

Haris Seferovic and Edimilson Fernandes found the net for the hosts on a night when Ireland captain Seamus Coleman was dismissed for a hand-ball in the box, with Darren Randolph saving the resultant penalty from Ricardo Rodriguez.

The Ireland team, which showed three changes from Saturday’s goalless draw with Georgia, began the game in a 3-5-2 formation, which McCarthy eventually abandoned.

“We were beaten by a considerably better team, certainly in the first half when we didn’t play particularly well,” McCarthy told Tony O’Donoghue in his post-match interview with RTÉ.

“Whatever system they were playing, it doesn’t excuse some of our wayward passing and some of the stuff that we did.

“I changed it midway through and that settled it down a bit. In the second half we played far, far better. I think it was a performance we can be proud of in the second half, not the first half, and with 10 men they had a right go.”

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When asked about the change in formation, McCarthy said: “It didn’t cause us not to pass the ball to each other, that’s for sure.

“I said to the lads, if in changing it that’s the root cause of it, I’ll accept responsibility for that. I’m not accepting responsibility for our inability to pass it to each other in the first half, because we were really poor. Changing the shape did settle it down, and we had a better performance in the second half.”

With just one game remaining for Ireland in their Group D campaign, the likelihood is that a win will be required against Denmark in Dublin next month if automatic qualification for next year’s European Championship is to be achieved.

“From the very start when the group was picked, and to be in the position we are now, I’m not going to say we’ve overachieved, but to get first or second [place] was always going to be an overachievement, I think, when you look at the two teams [Denmark and Switzerland],” said McCarthy.

“And we’ve still got a chance of doing it, so a cup final in the Aviva on 18 November, I would have taken that before and I’ll take it now.” 

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Paul Dollery

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