Football

Has Mick McCarthy Hinted That Aaron Connolly Will Start In Geneva?

Has Mick McCarthy Hinted That Aaron Connolly Will Start In Geneva?

It was a poor performance from Ireland yesterday. There were very few positives to take from what was an incredibly dour 0-0 draw in Tbilisi, with Ireland's failings in possession difficult to watch at times.

The result has weakened our position in the group, and when you couple that with Denmark's win over Switzerland, it means we have to win one of our last two games.

Still, we are only one win away from the Euros. Ireland essentially have two cup finals coming up, win one of them and we're in.

It's a position Mick McCarthy certainly would have taken before the group. Speaking to FAI TV, he admitted that he was a bit perplexed by the negative reaction to yesterday's result, adding that Ireland are in a fantastic position heading into their final two games.

If you'd have said that to me in the first place when the draw was on, I'd have taken that, of course I would.

It's been a good campaign so far. We haven't scored that many goals, we've only conceded two. We've been very disciplined, tough and hard to play against.

We're going to have do all that again tomorrow night against Switzerland...

I don't get it (the negativity). I think everybody would have taken the position we are in now.

We're going to Switzerland and if we win we qualify. If we beat Denmark, we qualify. Of course the pedalers of doom and gloom will say we have no chance of winning, I don't get that.

Who knows what will happen? We've been alright, and we've played better against the better sides.

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While it certainly would have been a boost if draws were good enough in these games, Ireland are still in a decent position.

As McCarthy mentions, his team have played better against the two big teams in the group thus far. One more big performance could be enough to secure passage to the Euros.

Considering a draw does very little for Ireland against the Swiss on Tuesday night, could we see a more attacking team selection for that one?

Aaron Connolly was incredibly impressive during his short cameo in Tbilisi, adding to the already deafening calls for him to play from the start. McCarthy has hinted that it's certainly a possibility:

He's come into the squad, he had his cameo at the end. Then of course the question is could I have played him more?

Well, I could have started him and he might not have played well from the start in a rough and tumble game. He might have scored from the start, all those scenarios.

But had he started and not played well it would have been 'he shouldn't have had a debut', all the usual stuff. I know it's coming, no matter what happens they will pick holes in it.

Aaron was great when he came on and he had his chances in a game that was starting to become stretched, it was starting to become wide open...

He's had a really good cameo appearance and I have no doubt that he is ready to start.

Despite McCarthy's comments, it would still come as a bit of a surprise were he to select Connolly from the start. Even if he is on the bench, you can certainly expect him to be given longer than 12 minutes to make an impact this time around.

SEE ALSO: In 12 Minutes, Aaron Connolly Proved He Has To Start In Switzerland

Gary Connaughton

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