Wednesday 18 September 2019

'I've got a chance for revenge' - Mick McCarthy looking forward to Switzerland tie on road to Euro 2020

Ireland boss Mick McCarthy
Ireland boss Mick McCarthy

Aidan Fitzmaurice

MICK McCarthy has warned against over-confidence from Ireland fans and players after the draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers gave the Republic of Ireland a relatively easy draw.

Regulations for the draw meant that Ireland avoided being in Group C along with Germany and Holland, and were instead moved into Group D.

There, they will face Switzerland, Denmark, Georgia and Gibraltar, all teams who have faced Ireland in recent campaigns and fans would feel that this group, which saw Ireland avoid the major powers like Italy, France and Belgium, is winnable.

McCarthy says that the Swiss game is a revenge mission as his Ireland career ended with a home loss to Switzerland in 2002, but he warns that it's still a testing time ahead.

"Whichever group we ended up in, we had to take it, everyone was slightly relieved but that's premature," he says of that near miss with the Dutch and the Germans.

"When you have Switzerland in the group, who I think are one of the best teams in Europe at the minute and Denmark who have been our nemesis, knocked us out of the Euros and then beat us in the Nations League, it's not going to be easy."

He's also keen to face the Swiss again. "I didn't lose too many competitive games at home and that was the last one so it was a disappointing way to leave, but it gives me a chance of revenge, doesn't it?" he said.

McCarthy has not faced Georgia at international level as he left as Ireland boss during the Euro 2004 campaign, before the matches against Georgia were played.

But mindful of recent results against them, like a draw in Tbilisi and a narrow win at home under Martin O'Neill, he has also urged caution.

"We have played them recently, I was chatting to Kev Kilbane and he said they have a good side. I think that was one of the toughest ones from Pot 4," he says.

Online Editors

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