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'They have a similar pattern in most games' - O'Neill responds to Denmark manager's jibe

10 November 2017; Martin O'Neill during a Republic of Ireland press conference at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
10 November 2017; Martin O'Neill during a Republic of Ireland press conference at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

MARTIN O'Neill says his old lodger Age Hareide still owes him a bill for unpaid rent going back to their playing days at Norwich.

And he may add on a few more Krone to the unpaid account after taking mild umbrage at the Norwegian's jibe about Ireland being a team who don't change their game-plan and are “easy to read.”

Responding to the claims, O'Neill said: “If you watch a lot of Denmark, they have a similar pattern in most games.

“They may have a stronger choice of players with people on the bench in the big leagues throughout Europe.

“I don't necessarily concur with that view. I've been in this job for three years competitively speaking and we have played a lot of games, 24 in qualifying, a lot of teams, and I think there is a general pattern to all sides.

“For example, we knew how Bosnia would play even though different players come in. And the Danish team too, we know what that pattern will be.”

O'Neill joked that, when the managerial duo were team-mates, “Since I was the better player, I earned more money so Age needed somewhere to stay and I let him stay with me.

“I charged him very very cheap rent and he turned out to be a very good player so I will send him a bill.

“He turned out to be excellent player and I’ve kept in contact with him, not every year but over time but he has an excellent reputation as a coach.

“It's a huge game for us. Qualifying for the Euros was great but getting to the World Cup is something else if we could make it, it would be fantastic.

“We've seen a lot of them and they of us. It will be tough but you expect that in a play-off, they are a seeded side and will have expectations of going through.

“We have overcome adversity before and aim to do so again. They have some fine players and so do we.

“They have players in the major leagues around Europe and that is a major advantage but we have overcome advantages before.

“None of us wanted to face Italy but having said that, this is still a tough task and Denmark have beaten Poland, our old adversaries, 4-0 here and they finished the campaign strongly.”

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