Monday 16 December 2019

Mick will go with tried-and-trusted formula

Out: Shane Long is injured
Out: Shane Long is injured

Mick McCarthy has Georgia on his mind as he prepares to do battle with Denmark on Friday without the services of Shane Long.

Already without the likes of Harry Arter, Alan Browne and Luca Connell due to injury, McCarthy yesterday saw the second-most experienced member of his squad, Southampton forward Long, leave the camp after he suffered a hamstring injury in training.

There will be no late call-ups as the Ireland boss will go with the strike force already in place (Seán Maguire, David McGoldrick, Callum Robinson and Scott Hogan) for Friday's test in Copenhagen.

"I've got plenty to pick from so, losing one, while it's disappointing, it's not the end of the world. That's probably the strongest selection pool that I've got," McCarthy said.

And it was possible that Long might not have even made the starting XI in Denmark as he is likely to go with the team which earned that 1-0 win at home to Georgia in March, which would see McGoldrick lead the line and Maguire starting on the bench, Robbie Brady and James McClean on the wings.

"I came in here the other day, I was asked about the team and I said about the Georgia game, how well they played. If you're picking a team would you do anything differently? So, you know, I'm hardly being that cagey am I," he said when asked about his selection.

"I prefer to have the team set in stone, knowing what I'm going to play, rather than humming and hawing.

"There are no knocks and niggles from those who I want to play, they're all okay. I prefer it that way but I have options for all positions. And we'll only know if they're as good as the others if they have to play."

McCarthy confirmed that Shane Duffy will play, a busy night in store for the defender.

"He'll have his work cut out on Friday because they're a good team. He'll be playing against a big lad up front [Jorgensen]," he said.

"it's just the all-round defensive capabilities that he brings. He brings blocks, he's good in both boxes."

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