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Friday 13 December 2019

Win changes nothing for Danish test

Callum Robinson celebrates after scoring Ireland’s third goal during the International against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile
Callum Robinson celebrates after scoring Ireland’s third goal during the International against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy will take a lot of positives from last night's win over New Zealand, but the win changes little in terms of Monday's game against Denmark.

Mick has gone with a settled team throughout the campaign so we will see more of the same on Monday against Denmark.

There was so much hype about Troy Parrott before the game that it's just good for him to have the debut out of the way, a debut he did well in.

You can see that Troy is still a young player, you could hear Mick McCarthy s telling him when to run into channels, trying to educate him about how to play in a game like this. But I liked the way he stood up to Winston Reid, a very experienced player. Troy wasn't put off by anything and he looked like he is well able to play at this level.

I know from my time in the squad that there's so much pressure on young lads before their debut, and it's easy to forget that Troy is only 17. The next time he's in the squad he won't have that pressure of a debut, that nervousness.

Robbie Brady did well against New Zealand and it's good for him to get 90 minutes on the field, as he's not had that too often this year.

Only question is, can he play 90 minutes twice in five days? I liked what Robbie did for the team last night, he was the one looking to get on the ball. He wanted to influence the game, get on the ball, make things happen and it's great to see him out there in the Irish shirt again for a whole game.

For his own sake, he captained a winning team and he looked the busiest player on the field, he looked positive for the whole game.

I don't think Mick will start him on Monday but Robbie has shown here that he can come in for the last 20 minutes, inject some pace and energy into the side. We always knew he had an eye for a pass, we know he can deliver on the big occasion and he could play a role on Monday.

I can't see Mick risking Robbie. In fact, anyone who played 90 minutes against New Zealand will struggle to get a start on Monday. But Robbie has shown he can be that impact player we might need late in the game. If he can get more games for his club then he'll be back in the frame for the Ireland team but for now, he'll have to make do with minutes off the bench. 

I liked the look of Jack Byrne last night. It was a difficult game for a a player like him. The tempo was slow, New Zealand were well-organised and they started well enough. It's tough in matches like that but Byrne and Alan Browne looked ok, they tried to pass the ball.

Ireland didn't create as much chances as we'd like but Byrne, Alan Browne and Josh Cullen will be happy with how they did. And for Jack to finish off the season like that, winning the Cup and then getting his first Ireland start, will do him a lot of good.

He never looked out of place and there can be no worries or questions about whether he belongs there because he's a League of Ireland player.  The goal will mean a lot to Sean Maguire. The way he celebrated shows how much it meant to him. He know that the next time he's in the squad there's no more talk or questions about playing so many Ireland games without scoring a goal.

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