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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

'We are a lot closer than people think' - Duffy bullish ahead of Danish reunion

The Irish defender is looking to a more positive approach in Copenhagen on Friday.

Shane Duffy.
Shane Duffy.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SHANE DUFFY HAS the claim on a unique bit of the long tapestry of our history with Denmark – he has scored the only goal of Ireland’s four recent meetings with the Danes…and that came in the only game Ireland have lost. 

That 5-1 episode aside, Ireland have drawn thrice with the Danes of late, all of them scoreless. The most recent game in Aarhus led an exasperated Christian Eriksen to snipe that Ireland were “scared to attack.”

Ahead of the renewal of rivalries in Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday, however, revenge isn’t on Duffy’s mind. 

“I’m not sure it’s revenge”, he told a press conference.

“We’re all professionals and you sort of have to forget about the past, and that’s the mentality we’ve got to have.

“It’s a fresh start, obviously, a new manager coming in and it’s different ideas, so we have got to go there and try to beat them, and we’re all excited for it.” 

Duffy is unsure whether our extreme familiarity with the Danes will be an advantage on Friday. 

“I don’t know. Obviously we had a bad result against them here, which was one of the toughest nights of most of our careers.

“We went back out there in the Nations League and that probably was sort of a nothing game at the time, so we all know that it’s a huge game now.

“It’s one that, I don’t know if it is revenge or not, but we all want to go to the Euros and they’re in front of us so we have to beat what’s in front of us.”

While Mick McCarthy has bluntly said what he would consider a success – “If I was offered a point now I wouldn’t even get on the bus” – he did point out that doesn’t mean Ireland won’t try to win the game at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. 

That Ireland will bring to the table a more positive, aggressive approach has been a constant theme around the Irish camp this week, and Duffy echoed it. 

“We have got to play our game, I think that’s what the manager said since he first came in. He wants to play his way, our way, and we are worried more about us than other teams.

“That’s the approach that we will hopefully take, and go out there and out put our stamp on the game and go for it. Like I said before, we have got to have the winning mentality in the group, and I think that’s what we have.

“We are a lot closer than what people think. The 5-1 game is probably the only one where we were outclassed and outplayed on the night. We’ve got top players here in this team as well and in the squad. We’ve got that bond together that maybe other countries don’t have and we’ve got that quality that makes up for it.

“People have their opinions on everyone, we believe in the squad that we are a lot closer and we can beat them on the night.

“As long as we believe that in the dressing room, that’s probably the most important thing because we are going out there to try and beat them.” 

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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