Denmark's Jorgensen is ready for same old defensive Irish outlook

Denmark defender Mathias Jorgensen has seen enough of Ireland in the past 20 months to believe not even Mick McCarthy can extinguish their defensive instincts.

Denmark's Jorgensen is ready for same old defensive Irish outlook

Denmark defender Mathias Jorgensen has seen enough of Ireland in the past 20 months to believe not even Mick McCarthy can extinguish their defensive instincts.

Ireland have only scored one goal in the four meetings between the recent rivals but the Huddersfield Town man is more concerned at the negative tactics deployed in those matches under Martin O’Neill.

Age Hareide’s side managed one distinction exception to the bore draws; their swashbuckling 5-1 World Cup play-off win in Dublin back in November 2018.

Despite the change of guard, Jorgensen isn’t expecting much from Ireland as an attacking force tomorrow in Copenhagen for their first Euro 2020 qualifier on home soil.

In fact, the giant known as ‘Zanka’ feels centre-back Shane Duffy, the scorer of Ireland’s only goal over those 360 minutes, will represent the main threat from McCarthy’s troops.

“Just because the manager changes doesn’t mean the approach will be different,” the 29-year-old says about the influence on the team of Mick McCarthy’s since replacing O’Neill in November.

“We all know which way Ireland will play. They will come to our stadium, sit back and be happy to play for a draw.

“Their game plan of trying to keep us scoreless is one we’ve come to respect. They’ve managed that three times in the four games.

“However, that will be difficult this time because we always take the initiative when playing in front of our fans.”

Jorgensen’s measured view chimes with that of his teammate Christian Eriksen, who earlier this week highlighted that Ireland are “scared” to attack.

The defender cites McCarthy’s first couple of results in March against the group’s pair of bottom seeds as evidence.

“Look at their two wins; 1-0 over Gibraltar and Georgia,” Jorgensen said.

“That shows Ireland are the same team we’ve faced over the past two years. Our main aim is to watch Duffy from set-pieces.”

Jorgensen, expected to link with his former Huddersfield manager David Wagner at Schalke this summer, sees no difficulty in accounting for the third-ranked team in the pool.

Their comeback against Group D’s top seed, Switzerland, from 3-0 down to eke out a draw extended their unbeaten run in open play to 26 games.

Denmark’s only defeat since October 2016, bar the penalty shoot-out loss to a Croatia side on their way to the World Cup final, was inflicted on a national Futsal team, who stepped in to face Slovakia when Jorgensen and his colleagues were on strike in a dispute over image rights.

“There is a special bond among our players, one that our coach Age Hareide has developed over the last few years,” he added.

“Losing to Switzerland wouldn’t have been the end of the world in terms of our Euro qualification chances but we scored three goals in the last nine minutes.

“Now is our chance to please our fans in the first home competitive game since the World Cup.

“We will be playing for the win whereas Ireland will look to draw. Maybe I could be wrong.”

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