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'It wouldn’t be my kind of thing' - Coleman rising above Danish jibes

Elsewhere, Mick McCarthy confirmed his emails weren’t affected in the FAI hack.

Seamus Coleman speaks to the media in Copenhagen.
Seamus Coleman speaks to the media in Copenhagen.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Gavin Cooney reports from The Parken Stadium, Copenhagen 

WE KNOW THAT Mick McCarthy doesn’t see tomorrow night’s Euro 2020 qualifier clash with Denmark as a chance to exorcise the demons of previous clashes because, well, that topic came up in literal terms.

“Do you see Denmark as an evil spirit?”, came a question from the local press. 

“No I don’t”, replied McCarthy. 

“I see Denmark as a very good football team. Some good players and they have one real star in Eriksen who would grace most teams around the world. It would be remiss of me just to put it on him, they have some very good players, and they are effective.” 

This will be the side’s fifth meeting since November 2017, and the 5-1 World Cup play-off aside, the rest of the games have finished scoreless.

Such frequency has build familiarity, and as a result a few Danish comments about Ireland – old and new – have come to the surface in the build-up to tomorrow night’s game. 

Christian Eriksen said Ireland were “scared to attack” in the most recent meeting in Aarhus, while midfielder Thomas Delaney described Ireland as “the most annoying opponent” of his recent games. 

Mick McCarthy and Seamus Coleman Mick McCarthy and Seamus Coleman at the pre-match press conference. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Captain Seamus Coleman was asked for his reaction at the pre-match press conference. 

“It’s never nice to hear other players speaking down about your team”, said Coleman.

“But it can also be a bit of motivation. Those games are in the past, we aren’t looking at them, we are looking at tomorrow night and being fully prepared tomorrow night. Then let’s see what happens on the pitch.

“It wouldn’t be my kind of thing, to come out and speak bad of other players, definitely not. But that’s their way of doing it, that’s their tactic.

“It can be a great motivation for the boys if that’s the case. For other lads it’s just another game, you are playing for your country and putting on that green jersey and regardless of who you’re playing, there is massive pride in wearing that jersey.

“You’ve got people back at home watching, fans coming over to watch, so I’m more worried about impressing them than impressing the Denmark players.” 

McCarthy confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s kick-off, and re-asserted his mantra that a draw would be a good result for Ireland. 

“If I had been offered a draw I wouldn’t have got on the plane. I’d have stayed at home, taken the point and played against Gibraltar.

“That doesn’t mean to say we are coming here to sit back and take the draw, we are coming here to try to win the game. We will approach it in an attacking, aggressive way.” 

McCarthy, meanwhile, was asked about the latest FAI story to break ahead of a major international game. The FAI confirmed in a statement last night that their Abbottstown servers had been subject to an external hack, and that their email server had been affected. 

“There’s a few hacks in here”, laughed McCarthy.

“I don’t have an FAI email address so it’s not affecting mine anyway.” 

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Gavin Cooney

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