'My blood was boiling. It did get a mention beforehand to give you that extra motivation'

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman was encouraged by his side’s performance in Copenhagen last night.

Coleman speaks with Denmark's Jens Stryger following a confrontation with Jeff Hendrick.
Coleman speaks with Denmark's Jens Stryger following a confrontation with Jeff Hendrick.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND CAPTAIN SEAMUS Coleman said last night’s hard-earned 1-1 draw in Copenhagen was the perfect response to some negative comments made by the Danes in the build-up to Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier.

A towering header by Shane Duffy with five minutes left on the clock cancelled out Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s opener, earning the Boys in Green a late point which keeps them top of Group D on seven points from a possible nine.

Some members of the Danish camp were dismissive of Mick McCarthy’s side leading up to yesterday’s clash, however, with Coleman delighted that his side could get their own back and do their talking on the pitch.

“My blood was boiling,” he told Off The Ball’s Nathan Murphy after full-time speaking about the negative slights.

“But in press conferences you’ve got to stay professional, there’s no point fuelling any fires.  You never know with these things — have they been said like they’ve been said or what.”

Huddersfield Town defender Mathias Jorgensen said Ireland “can change the manager, but cannot change the players”, while Borussia Dortmund’s Thomas Delaney described Ireland as “the most annoying opponent.”

Seamus Coleman celebrates after the game Ireland are top of Group D with two wins and one draw from their opening three qualifiers. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“They don’t play flowing football,” Delaney added. “But they’re skilled at what they do and that makes it a struggle.”

Coleman said any such negative conceptions about his Irish side did, in fact, only add as further motivation to depart Copenhagen with a result ahead of Monday’s clash at home to Gibraltar in Dublin.

“Definitely it did get a mention beforehand to give you that extra motivation without  a shadow of a doubt,” the Everton defender said. “[One of their players] said you can change your manager but can’t change the players and you’re thinking: ‘Hold on a minute there’. 

“But, as I said, I don’t know if that is exactly how it was said or not, so we’ve got to go with what we’ve read. I read it and was obviously a bit annoyed by it and made sure to mention it beforehand.

“We’ve got good players and another thing we have is great fighting spirit. Look, we’ve done nothing yet. They’re going to come to Dublin and try and put one over on us as well, and we’ve Gibraltar coming up as well, so we’ve done absolutely nothing yet. But it’s a good start.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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