herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

McCarthy's Ireland sharper and more dangerous: Danes

Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen

A new campaign, a new manager for Ireland, and Denmark boss Age Hareide says he's wary of an Ireland side who look "sharper" under Mick McCarthy.

Three 0-0 draws and one 5-1 win is Denmark's record from their meetings with the Republic over the last 18 months, as his outfit were rarely troubled by the Martin O'Neill-era Ireland side.

Denmark have played just once in the qualifiers, a 3-3 draw in Switzerland, so they will aim for a six-point haul from games over the next week, both at home, against Ireland (Friday) and Georgia (Monday).

Veteran manager Hareide outwitted his old team-mate O'Neill in their World Cup tussles but he sees something different about the side which plays now under McCarthy.

"I think they look sharper. I know Mick McCarthy, and he might have a different philosophy from Martin O'Neill," Hareide said.

"It's the same players, but they are hard to play against. They are good at defending, are physically strong and well organised.

"It goes without saying that when we have played four games against them and three have ended 0-0, they are good defensively.

"Yes, we scored five, but we were extremely clinical in that game. We need to be on top to beat them.

"They have six points, and if they think as I do, they will be satisfied with one point in Copenhagen.

"Because if that happens, they will have seven points, and we have two," Hareide added.

The Danish squad have already been in camp for two weeks, though some of the panel were, understandably, late arrivals.

Eriksen

Andreas Christensen only hooked up with his team-mates over the weekend as he was busy in Baku, helping Chelsea win the Europa League.

And Christian Eriksen was also a late arrival into their camp in the coastal town of Helsingor as he was on duty for Tottenham in their Champions League loss to Liverpool.

It's understood that Eriksen will be offered time off to rest before taking a full part in training ahead of Friday's clash with Ireland on home soil.

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