Mick McCarthy insists he hasn’t given up on the idea of Matt Doherty playing on the right side of midfield for Ireland, even though a lack of penetration and crosses into the box meant the manager opted to replace the Wolves man with Robbie Brady before the hour mark in Ireland’s grim 1-0 win in Gibraltar on Saturday.
As John Delaney took his seat in the small stand of the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar on Saturday night, to watch Ireland play their opening 2020 European Championship qualifier, he already knew that this was going to be the last international game he would attend as Chief Executive Officer of the FAI.
On the face of it, it didn’t seem that much of an occasion, just a warm-up for the real action. Sure, it may have been Gibraltar’s ever international first match as a recognised nation, but the November 2013 friendly in the Algarve was against an experimental Slovakia side, and ended 0-0. Bigger days surely lay ahead.
It was a telling reminder of how far they’d come, but also of their apparent place in the game. At the end of Gibraltar’s 7-0 defeat to Poland back in September, the tiny territory’s players obviously went to swap shirts with the opposition.