Republic of Ireland vs Denmark - O’Neill targets Nations League victory over Denmark

Posted Saturday, October 13, 2018 by PA

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark - O’Neill targets Nations League victory over Denmark

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is targeting Nations League victory over Denmark to ease the pain of the last meeting between the sides.

The Danes won 5-1 in Dublin in November last year to deny Ireland a trip to the World Cup finals. Denmark were inspired by hat-trick hero Christian Eriksen when they romped to victory at the Aviva Stadium in November last year.

With the Tottenham star injured and Republic frontman Shane Long fit after an ankle problem, O’Neill is hopeful for a much different outcome from Saturday night’s game.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, he said: “Denmark, obviously, beat us convincingly about 11 months ago, so I think we would like to redress that if we can, naturally.

“We chased the game and got picked off in the match, and we had a world-class performance from a world-class player, who simply was sublime on the night and played very well. In the end, we were well beaten in the match.

“This is part of the preliminary stages of the league itself, the Nations League as it’s called, so three points up for grabs as well. We’d like to try to win the game if we can.

“The players are in good form. We all trained today, Shane Long trained as well, and we’re ready to go.”

Midfielder Jeff Hendrick also remembers the game last November only too well, but is grateful for an opportunity to put things right on Saturday.

He said: “Everybody was hurting – we were, the fans were. That’s the way it was, that’s the way the game turned out. It wasn’t a good night.

“But we have a lot of new faces in now. Everybody’s worked hard, everybody’s training, everybody’s looking bright and up for the game.”

Denmark boss Age Hareide has warned the Republic of Ireland not to be fooled by Eriksen’s absence as they attempt to rekindle their Nations League campaign.

“He’s a good player, there’s no doubt about that, he’s an important player for us. But we haven’t focused that much on him being away,” said Hareide.

“It’s important to focus on the players we have and on the team we have. We just have to try to fill that role, or play in a little bit different way without him.

“We have shown that we have a lot of good players in Denmark and the team is working for each other, know each other, so I don’t think that missing Christian will be any kind of excuse after the game. We just have to show ourselves and then do our best.”

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