Ireland will come up against a familiar foe on Friday evening, as they prepare to take on Denmark for the fifth time in just over 18 months. While three of the four previous meetings finished as draws, many believe that the Danes have a squad that is vastly superior to the one Mick McCarthy currently has at his disposal.
Much of that theory stems from the 5-1 humbling Ireland experienced at the hands of this opponent in the World Cup play-off at the Aviva Stadium in 2017, one of the biggest embarrassments for Irish football in recent memory.
On their behalf, the Danes have hardly done much to quell such these notions either. After the Nations League meetings between the pair last year, where Denmark dominated the possession figures despite two stalemates, some of their players had implied that Ireland had little intention of playing any sort of real football.
One such quote came from midfielder Thomas Delaney, who compared playing against Ireland to 'opening a can of baked beans with your bare hands'.
Speaking at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon, McCarthy was asked if the comments made the Danish players could add some extra motivation for his players ahead of Friday's game:
It would with me. We are all different, but if somebody mentions it, it might just have a positive effect.
If someone insults you, I guess you’d take umbrage at it and want to do something about it, if you could, in any positive way.
I don’t know what they said - what did they say?
When the Ireland boss was informed that they implied our football was essentially 'agricultural' in style, McCarthy replied:
We are from a farming country, aren’t we?
That we are Mick, that we are.
While results against the Danes have not been too bad in the previous couple of meetings, Ireland will be hoping to have far more influence on the game on Friday in terms of attacking threat.
If the players can get a little bit of extra motivation from Denmark writing us off as a footballing backwater, who are we to complain?
Ireland were far more positive in the last game against Georgia, and McCarthy is hoping to carry that style into the Denmark game.
We will endeavour to play the same way.
They play the same way as Georgia do, 4-2-3-1, they’ve got a real specialist 10 in Eriksen of course and yes we managed to look after the Georgian number 10, whether we can with Eriksen for 90 minutes remains to be seen.
That will be the intention, to play that way. I think if we play on the front foot we will have more of a chance than if we just sit back and try to soak up pressure and accept that they will have the ball.
Mick McCarthy was speaking at the official launch of the new team suit for 2019 from sponsor Benetti Menswear at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Benetti are the official tailor to the FAI. For further information about Benetti log on to www.benetti.ie.