Monday 16 September 2019

McCarthy says stirring show can give fans cause for cheer

Mick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
Mick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Mick McCarthy believes it's up to his Irish team to ensure the focus is on football this Thursday.

There is a prospect that supporters will again use a big Aviva Stadium fixture to highlight their dissatisfaction with the FAI.

Ireland's win over Georgia in March was enlivened by a tennis ball protest which was followed by Conor Hourihane's match-winning strike.

FAI officials do believe it's possible that there will be more tension around the match with Switzerland.

But McCarthy is certain that the players will again benefit from positive backing - once they do their bit.

"I don't doubt the atmosphere will be good," said McCarthy. "I thought the atmosphere prior to the game (v Georgia) was a great.

"And all that animosity… There wasn't much, was there? 40 people brought tennis balls. But any animosity and any ill feeling just went with that goal.

Goodwill

"We got supported wonderfully well. The goodwill that has been shown towards the team has been fabulous and there's going to be a good crowd on Thursday and so there should be.

"If people turn up, they want to see us play well and play aggressively and have chances. Not be sat back. Try and play progressive and attacking football. And if we do, the crowd will support us."

McCarthy's squad trained yesterday with Seamus Coleman sitting it out as he recovered from the exertions of Everton's victory over Wolves.

The manager spoke before the session, confirming that he gave Luton's James Collins the nod over Shane Long due to match sharpness.

He spoke with the disappointed Southampton attacker to explain his logic, but has not closed the door on his involvement in the remainder of the campaign. McCarthy also feels James McCarthy has a role to play once he plays proper matches - and not U-23 games - at Crystal Palace.

Irish Independent

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