Hareide not afraid of Ireland’s physical threat
Denmark manager Åge Hareide has waved away the possibility that Ireland will out-muscle his team in Copenhagen. Hareide nodded when it was put to him that Wales international Joe Allen, who left the field with a concussion in the first half of Ireland’s 1-0 away win, was an example of the possible consequences of Ireland’s combative approach. It’s a scenario that holds no fears for him.
“No not really,” he said before Denmark’s final run-out. “I think the referee will control that part of the game. We know the Irish are physical but they are not dirty. They challenge from the ball and that’s allowed in football. We know that . . . during the campaign we have met teams that are physical and you have to allow for everything.”
Christian Eriksen is expected to come under very close scrutiny when the home team are in possession but the Tottenham star was indifferent to the prospect of being singled-out for a man-marking role.
“I have been man-marked before. I don’t mind . . . if Ireland will do that. I don’t mind if they do. It probably means more space for other players and with the quality we have I think we could take advantage of that. But it is Ireland’s decision and for me it doesn’t really matter.”
Eriksen and his team-mates know what to expect, though. Any chinks of space in the Irish cover will be down to their ability to create something out of very little.
“We are trying to get the best result possible. These are two games where anything can happen really. If you have a team that wants to play and one team that doesn’t want to play, then the game can become dragged out. But we want to create chances. 0-0 would be a good result for them.”