Belfast Telegraph

We control our own destiny: McCarthy


Game plan: Mick McCarthy’s side can qualify with a win
Game plan: Mick McCarthy’s side can qualify with a win

By Damian Spellman

A defiant Mick McCarthy has insisted he would have taken heading into the final two games of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with their fate still in their own hands.

Saturday's goalless draw in Georgia, coupled win Denmark's 1-0 home win over Switzerland, means that McCarthy's men -who face the Swiss in Geneva on tomorrow evening - and the Danes are locked together at the top of Group D on 12 points after six fixtures.

The Republic were second best for much of the game in Tbilisi and had to defend for dear life at times, prompting a less-than-favourable reaction from some back at home, but with victory over either the Swiss this week or Denmark in Dublin next month guaranteeing qualification, McCarthy remains bullish.

He said: "I don't get it, I really don't get it. I think everybody would have taken the position we're in now, going to Switzerland and if we win we qualify, if we beat Denmark we qualify.

"Of course, the peddlers of doom and gloom will say 'well we've no chance of winning'. I don't get that. Who knows, who knows what will happen?

"We've been all right. We've done better against the better sides, we've given better performances.

"I'm looking forward to it - the pressure is on them on Tuesday night."

Switzerland trail both the Republic and Denmark by four points, but have played a game fewer and would expect to wrap up their fixtures next month with a maximum return from a home clash with Georgia and a trip to Gibraltar.

McCarthy confirmed that Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick would not be joining up with the squad after failing to shake off a groin injury, and his absence will do little to quell the excitement surrounding Aaron Connolly, who enjoyed an encouraging cameo at the weekend.

Asked for his reaction to the game in Copenhagen, McCarthy said: "It's left us that if we win one of the games, we qualify. That's what I'm led to believe.

"It's head-to-head against them, so if we win on Tuesday, we've qualified.

"If you'd have said that to me on December 1 when the draw was (made), I'd have taken it, of course I would."


Rep of Ireland

Euro 2020 Qualifying Group D:

Stade de Geneve, Tomorrow, 7.45pm


Rep Ireland63306212


Switzerland 52211058



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