Football

McCarthy Delighted With 'Stoic' Ireland And 'Fabulous' Fans

McCarthy Delighted With 'Stoic' Ireland And 'Fabulous' Fans

What pleased Mick McCarthy most about Ireland's draw with Switzerland on Thursday night?

"Well, the equaliser," said McCarthy to some laughter at his post-match press conference.

He then elaborated.

"And the nature of how we got that equaliser, we went 1-0 down here as we did to Denmark but the stoic nature of the players, their durability, they just keep going. They gave me everything - they're absolutely brilliant.

"We are not the best team in the group but I'll tell you what, you are going to put us down before they give up and that’s a lovely trait. In all of my time with Ireland, whether it was playing or before when I was managing, that’s always been a lovely, lovely trait.

"We have got a point against a very good side who for periods of that game dominated the possession which I knew that they would try to do. They have very athletic players, players who are playing at good clubs.

"I had to change the system a couple of times in order to stem the tide. We had three guys in the middle of the park who had about six games between them so far this season. ‘Why not play somebody else then?’ I hear you cry.

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"Well, because they are the most experienced players and they have proved it tonight to me."

McCarthy was especially pleased for the scorer of the equaliser. For David McGoldrick, the Sheffield United forward who has been a revelation in the second act of his Ireland career, it was his first international goal.

"Didzy's always been an excellent player - certainly for me he has," said McCarthy.

He contributed to our best year at Ipswich - him and Murph [Daryl Murphy] were superb together.

I'm delighted he got his goal. You're playing well, you're getting standing ovations but if you're a striker, you want to be scoring goals.

I've always trusted David McGoldrick.

The Aviva erupted when McGoldrick's header hit the net in the 85th minute but the crowd had been vocal throughout the night.

"The atmosphere was fabulous and I’d like to thank the fans for that," said McCarthy.

"When the goal went in it was like the days of old: Jack’s days, my days in qualifying for the World Cup.

"They got right behind us. We’ve had lots of goodwill, I have certainly, and the players have despite the other stuff that’s been going on.

"The way the lads have conducted themselves, how they played in Denmark, has helped people believe in the team again. Certainly that result tonight will help."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

See Also: VAR Would Have Ruled Out Ireland's Late Equaliser Against Switzerland

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