Wednesday 21 February 2018

'I hope Ireland focus on me' - Eriksen says Danes are not one-man team

 

Denmark's Christian Eriksen. Photo: Andrew Halseid-Budd/Getty Images
Denmark's Christian Eriksen. Photo: Andrew Halseid-Budd/Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Christian Eriksen says Ireland will pay the penalty if they think keeping him quiet will guarantee success against Denmark.

The Irish camp have fielded questions about the Spurs playmaker throughout the build-up to the World Cup play-off.

And Eriksen wants Martin O'Neill's men to concentrate on stopping him because he believes he has underrated team-mates that will then come to the fore.

"I don't think they'll focus on only one player but I hope they do because there are other players in our team who can take over," said Eriksen yesterday.

"I am used to the focus and it won't be different from the all other matches we play. These games are going to be huge.

"We have at least 180 minutes to play where it will be all or nothing. We lost our last (Euro 2016) play-off to Sweden and I'm sure everyone will be doing everything to avoid that happening again."

Millwall’s Aiden O’Brien finds himself in no-man’s land as Ireland players go in opposite directions during a training drill in Abbotstown yesterday. Photo: OISIN KENIRY/INPHO
Millwall’s Aiden O’Brien finds himself in no-man’s land as Ireland players go in opposite directions during a training drill in Abbotstown yesterday. Photo: OISIN KENIRY/INPHO

Denmark have received a boost ahead of the game with Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen - the top scorer in the Dutch league last season - fitting a protective cast on a fractured wrist to ensure he is able to figure in Saturday's first leg in Copenhagen.

He will be one of the main threats along with Eriksen and his availability could restrict Nicklas Bendter to the role of substitute.

The chances of Jeff Hendrick figuring have increased after he received positive news from a scan on a glute muscle problem.

It's believed that Hendrick was struggling with the injury before Burnley's fixture with Southampton at the weekend and he was fit enough to get through an hour.

Ireland might have to look at managing his contribution to the two-legged encounter to ensure that the first-choice midfielder makes maximum impact.

O'Neill does have the advantage of a fresh David Meyler to come into his side for the second leg - he is banned for the away encounter.

Defender Stephen Ward was forced to sit out training with a knee issue but there is no major concerns about Hendrick's Burnley colleague.

Irish Independent

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