Tuesday 17 September 2019

'We wanted to prove a point' - James McClean blasts Danes after Ireland claim valuable point in Copenhagen

Ireland's Conor Hourihane, left, and James McClean in action against Lasse Schöne of Denmark during the Euro 2020 Group D clash in Copenhagen. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland's Conor Hourihane, left, and James McClean in action against Lasse Schöne of Denmark during the Euro 2020 Group D clash in Copenhagen. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

James McClean claimed Denmark's pre-match snipes at Ireland's lack of quality inspired Mick McCarthy's side to claim a point in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark in Copenhagen.

Denmark's Thomas Delaney was among those who suggested his team did not enjoy playing against Ireland, as he suggested the rivals they have played in five big games over the last two years were 'annoying' opponents as he questioned their lack of flair.

Ireland winger McClean hit back at those comments in a feisty post-match interview with Sky Sports, as he suggested Delaney's snipes has inspired Ireland to raise their game in Copenhagen.

"Their players weren't complimentary towards us in the build-up to the game. We wanted to prove a point," McClean told Sky Sports.

"It's not nice when professionals criticise you. Fair enough they beat us 5-1 but we've drawn the other four games we've played recently. They're not that much better than us themselves, are they?

"Brilliant header from Shane in the end. It helps when you've got someone not afraid to attack the ball in both boxes. The big man has come up trumps again."

Ireland goal scorer Shane Duffy joined McClean in hitting out at Denmark's snipes at Ireland, as he suggested the negative comments inspired Ireland's spirited display.

"We wouldn't have said what they said about another country," said Duffy. "It might be their tatics, but that was motivation for us to go out there and prove a point to them it was their tactics, but this is just a game of football. Words are always said, but everyone should have respect for eachother out there."

Duffy could not wipe the smile from his face as he spoke to Sky Sport, after suggesting his equalising header was perfectly executed.

"That header came right off the sweet spot," declared Duffy. "To score in front of the fans made it special. Those fans deserve something and a point is a good point here. They are a good team and we now have to take this on to Monday.

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was already turning his thoughts to Monday's game against Gibraltar in Dublin, as he recorded his most significant result yet in his second stint as Ireland manager.

"It's nice to come and earn a point and I think we did earn it," declared McCarthy. "We played against a very good Danish team who passed through us at times, but we came back very well.

"It was us trying to get the goal in the 94th minute and that showed how well we fought and how much we wanted it. We had to fiddle and tinker a few things, but we managed to score a goal and earned that point.

"If you get the delivery to big Shane, he is very hard to stop. Wonderful delivery into the big fella and he will always score if you give him that service.

"Now we have Gibraltar on Monday. We need to bring everyone back down to earth quickly and we need to recover for Monday."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport