McCarthy remains grounded despite impressive friendly win

Fri, Nov 15 2019

Andrew Dempsey reports from the Aviva Stadium

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has insisted that he will keep his feet firmly on the ground despite a comprehensive 3-1 friendly win over New Zealand.

McCarthy’s side will now head into Monday’s showdown against Denmark in a more positive mindset, but the former Ipswich Town is wary of the threat posed to Ireland by the Danes.  

“There was four full debuts. they’ve all been involved in a win. Three players have scored their first goal for their country,” McCarthy said during his post-match press conference.

“It’s a win, there’s no points to be gained from it. Will it make any difference to our performance on Monday? Who knows? But I think it will make a difference to the way people see the team.

“The lads who have played, we’re thrilled with.”  

However, the Irish boss noted that he was pleased with a number of players.

“There’s a couple of good performances. Seanie Maguire played well, I thought Browney (Alan Browne) and Josh Cullen in the middle of the park were excellent.

“I have to say Kevin Long was remarkable. He doesn’t play for his club, but he doesn’t look that way. Whatever he’s doing fair play to him.

“(Robbie Brady) did some good things; he did some not so good things. I thought his work off the ball was going to be tough for him because he hasn’t been playing. He needed a game, that’s what he needed.

“I thought (Derrick Williams) was excellent. He’s a left sided centre-back as well. He kept going and he had his chances. I was delighted he got his goal.

“I’ve been really impressed with Derrick, all round. In terms of his personality, character and how he trains. It was a great header. I took him off because his calf started to tire a little.

“Jack (Byrne) did fine. He was fine with the ball, getting the ball. Off the ball he has improved no end. I was pleased with Jack.

“I think his (Callum Robinson’) best slot is on the left. That’s unfortunate because that’s where we’ve got most of best slots on the left.  

“When I saw him for Preston that’s where I thought he was best, and I think he’s a threat from this side.”