Monday 16 July 2018

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Duffy: We'll create more in second leg

Ireland's Shane Duffy. Photo: PA
Ireland's Shane Duffy. Photo: PA
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Shane Duffy admits that Ireland need to do better, and use the ball better, when they face Denmark in round two of their battle to get to the 2018 World Cup finals.

Duffy was proud of the role he and his fellow defenders played in the scoreless draw, with Darren Randolph pulling off a series of saves to deny a Danish side that scored four goals at home to pool winners Poland in the qualifiers.

"I'm confident - we don't concede many goals and hopefully we don't concede on Tuesday," said Duffy.

"We'll be a different team at the Aviva and we will create a lot more. It wasn't a night here to do anything stupid. You could see their technical players struggled. It wasn't pretty but we got a result and it's a cup final on Tuesday. One game, one win and we're at the World Cup so let's go for it.

"We can be a bit better on the ball. It wasn't a night to take risks and it wasn't pretty, the pitch wasn't great. . . no excuses though, we weren't great on the ball.

"It was still a great performance defensively from the whole team. Darren made a couple of great saves and that's it, really. They didn't have much really.

"It was a difficult night, it wasn't pretty, the job was to come here and not conceded, we got a clean sheet out of it and that's a positive, it's on to Tuesday now.

"If we can keep them out on their home patch, we can do it on our home patch. They are a good team, a very good team and it was a very tough night, they will probably fancy their chances of scoring a goal but we will see."

Duffy was one of the players who began the night, and finished it, on one yellow card as the Irish side (and the Danes) managed to escape an entry in the referee's notebook.

"I saw James [McClean] flying about and Harry [Arter] flying about. . . I was wondering - but it can't play on your mind. I was ready to put my body wherever I had to. No one got booked so happy days. I can't wait now to get back to the Aviva and have the place rocking. Bring it on.

"It's huge. I can't wait. Honestly, I can't wait. Get me home now and recover and we'll come back at them on Tuesday. No one can take anything away from our performance defensively against a very good team and we'll have more on Tuesday," added Duffy.

For Ireland captain Ciaran Clark it was a case of 'job done' in the Parken Stadium. The focus now moves on to Tuesday's task at home to the Danes, the prospect of a long night with extra-time and even penalties on the horizon.

The Newcastle man had his blushes saved as his poor clearance gifted the ball to Christian Eriksen, leading to Denmark's best chance from Pione Sisto, a chance the Dane wasted, and Clark was pleased to come way from Copenhagen with a clean sheet.

"It was about coming out here and getting the right result no matter how we played. We knew there was a job to be done out here and we've done it," said Clark, who hailed keeper Darren Randolph for his efforts in goal.

"He kept us in the game by making some great saves, especially the one at the end. It was a great defensive performance from the whole team. It is what it is. We've got 90 minutes to get there now. It's close but we've got a really tough game.

"The fans have a massive part to play on Tuesday. The fans will be up for it just like us," added Clark, a surprise choice as Ireland skipper for the night. "I found out just before the game, it was a very proud night for me and my family but the main thing was the result. We didn't want to pick up any silly yellow cards and have anyone suspended for Tuesday."

Arter won praise from former Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews.

"It was a very disciplined performance from Harry Arter," Andrews told Sky Sports. "I looked at the team sheet and it wasn't obvious who would fill in for David Meyler, but Arter did a fine job in there. A draw is a decent result and now we need to show more going forward. We need to get that stadium in Dublin rocking and we are close to the World Cup now."

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