Sunday 15 September 2019

Denmark boss Age Hareide has a cheeky dig at Ireland in his pre-game press conference

Age Hareide
Age Hareide
David Kelly

David Kelly

Denmark manager Age Hareide had a pop at Ireland's attacking prowess during his final press conference ahead of tomorrow World Cup play-off first leg clash in Copenhagen.

Denmark have scored more freely than Ireland during the campaign with 20 goals in their 10 games, four of them without reply against eventual group winners Poland, but have also conceded more often with eight.

Martin O'Neill's men have managed only 12 goals and scored more than once in a game on just three occasions, but leaked a meagre six with two of those coming in their opening draw with the Serbs in Belgrade.

Hareide claims Ireland have a game-plan that is “easy to read but hard to play against” and he wouldn't be averse to his side emerging with a goalless draw from the opening leg of this two act play.

“Once they don't score and it is 0-0, 0-0 is okay because that means we could have 120 minutes to score a goal in Dublin, thirty extra minutes and that could be important.”

He clearly doesn't think Ireland will score at the Aviva if they fail to do so in the Parken Stadium tomorrow.

Danish stopper Kasper Schmeichel expects Ireland to display elements of the “inspirational” Roy Keane.

Although his famous father, Peter, was this week pretty dismissive of an erstwhile team-mate who gave him a black eye on an infamous pre-season tour almost 20 years ago, the Leicester City netminder was more generous in his praise of the Ireland assistant coach.

“My memories of him are of holding trophies and being an inspirational leader and captain for Manchester United,” said Schmeichel, who flanked manager Hareide and star man, Christian Eriksen, at today's final pre-match press conference.

“He is a typical Irishman. They have a unique character. I have played with a few and I enjoy their attitude. They are serious at work but like to have fun. I am sure we will see on-field persona of Roy Keane.”

Eriksen doesn't know if he will be man-marked tomorrow evening but shrugged off the potential for any special treatment, warning that his Danish side are not simply a one-man team.

“I have been man-marked before but I am not sure what Ireland are going to do. We have to focus on our own game. If someone is marking me, that will leave room for the other quality players in our team to make an impression.”

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