Seamus Coleman admits Denmark pain is still raw

Seamus Coleman at the Republic of Ireland Press Conference, The Campus, Quinto do Lago, Faro, Portugal. Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Quinta Do Lago

Ultimately, it will be the responsibility of Mick McCarthy and his staff to work out the required balance between caution and adventure when Ireland travel to Denmark in a fortnight’s time.

The game in Copenhagen will clearly be the toughest test yet for the new manager and his new-look team but the experienced Seamus Coleman believes that the right way to go about the task is to try to replicate Ireland’s most recent performance in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

“What we will do is set up like we did against Georgia,” the skipper predicts, “try to take the game to them and try and press them. A point is a good result sometimes but if you sit back waiting on a point sometimes it doesn’t go that way.

"We will be aware of their danger but it will be about us playing on the front foot, trying to win the ball in their half, trying to play and be confident and getting people in the box.”

Coleman also concedes that the still raw memory of Ireland’s recent unhappy experiences against the Danes is bound to be a factor.

“Definitely. You try your best not to go in with those thoughts, you just want to take the game on the game, but you just keep going back to it. I feel like we owe them one, definitely.

We know that they’re a good nation with some Champions League players and all the rest so it will be tough. But I’m glad we’re going away first and with the togetherness that we have, we’re all looking forward to the game.

Coleman says he has been much taken with young Luca Connell, the Everton-supporting surprise inclusion in Ireland’s training camp on the Algarve, who admitted this week that he was initially star-struck at meeting one of his Goodison heroes.

But the Donegal man reckons it’s way too early for people to be getting worked up over whether this latest dual-eligibility candidate could end up going the way of Declan Rice.

“It doesn’t matter if they’ve got an English background,” he says. “If they come through the door, they are welcomed like any young Irish player or whoever would get welcomed. It’s not a case of being overly-nice hoping that they might stay.

"If the lads want to stay and play for Ireland, they will. If they don’t, they’re going to go on no matter what I do or the other lads do.

"There’s obviously been no talk of that from Luca whatsoever. I know you have to ask those questions, but we just need to let the lad come in and enjoy his football and see where his career takes him.”

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