Robbie Brady is often a man of few words in the public arena, but sometimes less is more.
Like when he was put to him yesterday that the consensus among the Danish players seemed to be that their main challenge in this World Cup play-off — and especially at home tonight in Copenhagen — would be to break Ireland’s spirit.
“They can try,” said the Dubliner in a tone which had a ‘good luck with that’ vibe about it. “We’ll have to wait and see,” he added more diplomatically. “We’re ready, we’ve done our homework and we’re prepared.
“We know they have some fantastic players. It’s going to be a really tough game. I’m sure they are going to be prepared to the best of their capability and we will too. It has the makings of a good game. Hopefully, it all goes well.”
As one of the more senior squad members, having been blooded under Giovanni Trapattoni, Brady is well placed to reflect on how the make-up of the Irish team has changed under Martin O’Neill.
“It’s a different squad. We’ve had a couple of senior players and a couple of head figures that have left. I think that, over the last couple of years, it’s been good to knit together some of the new players coming in and show we’ve got a strong group.
“As for me, I was there a couple of years ago before the new lads came in and I’m just there to help them settle and sort of bed in. Over the last couple of years, we’ve had some good results and we’ve had a decent campaign so far. Hopefully, we can continue that.”
Brady has already experienced what it’s like to prevail in a big play-off, his superb away goal in the fog of Zenica so vital to Ireland overcoming Bosnia en route to France and even greater personal and team glory at Euro 2016.
“I think, over the last couple of years, we’ve shown in big games what we’re capable of producing,” he said. “The lads who were in Bosnia can use something from that night. You’re that close to a World Cup, it’s there for the taking for both sides. If we can take anything from that game, it will be belief.”
The Irish squad all came through a work out in Parken Stadium last night, going through their paces under a closed roof — to protect the pitch from rain — which will be open to the chilly night air for this evening’s game. O’Neill, reportedly limited the session as there are office buildings overlooking the pitch and he was concerned about unveiling his gameplan.
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