herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Keogh hails Irish spirit

Seamus Coleman (left) and Richard Keogh celebrate in Copenhagen
Seamus Coleman (left) and Richard Keogh celebrate in Copenhagen

Richard Keogh hailed the spirit of the Ireland side as they were able to turn around a 1-0 deficit to earn a point away to Denmark.

"They have some great players so we expected a hard game from them but we defended really well," said Keogh.

"There is a spirit in us, we never give up. There are issues, as our final ball could have been better but it was a great header from Duffs (Shane Duffy) and we take the point," added Keogh, who played down talk of bad blood between the two camps over comments made by the Danes about Ireland.

"They can say what they want, maybe it was a bit disrespectful as we have a lot of players who play in the Premier League, and it is what it is but we more than gave them a game and there were some negative things.

"We tried to press the ball a bit higher and that can can give some possession to them.

"They are the home team but we caused them problems in areas, James had chances, it was a positive night for us."

Former Ireland striker Jonathan Walters joined the chorus of acclaim for Duffy, as he suggested he was a talisman for Ireland at both ends of the pitch.

"Shane Duffy has been a colossus for both defensively and on set pieces and he delivered against for us," stated Walters.

"He attacks the ball on set pieces as well as anyone I have played with and he is so hard for defenders to pick up if the ball into the box was right and the timing of that goal made it difficult for Denmark to come back.

"You fear the worst when you concede with 15 minutes to go, but that Denmark goal was coming.

"We were getting deeper and deeper as the game went on and you could feel that the goal was coming for Denmark, but we responded well and we are always in the game when we have a set piece.

"Alan Judge lost his man on the Denmark goal, but he made up for that with a wonderful delivery into the box to set up the equaliser and Duffy was there to score for Ireland again.

"It's a huge result going into the Gibraltar game now as we should win that game and go on to ten points in the group."

Another former Irish great, John O'Shea, also saluted Duffy.

"What a fantastic point and it was fitting that Shane Duffy scored the goal after the wonderful performance he put in," O'Shea told Sky Sports.

"When you see the chances Denmark had in that second half, the reaction from the team after went behind means we deserved something from that game.

"Alan Judge had a big impact as he came off the bench, won the free kick and put in an amazing delivery into the box and that is what you want from your substitutes. You want them to have an impact from the bench and Judge has that quality in his delivery.

"Shane attacked that cross superbly, as he always does, and got a massive goal for Ireland. There was great character shown there and plenty of quality there too."

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