Ireland v Denmark live on Sky Sports Football at 7.45pm on Saturday
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 12/10/18 2:52pm
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is targeting Nations League victory over Denmark to ease the pain of the last meeting between the sides.
The Danes won 5-1 in Dublin in November last year to deny Ireland a trip to the World Cup finals but with Shane Long fit after an ankle problem, O’Neill is hopeful for Saturday night’s game at the Aviva Stadium, live on Sky Sports Football.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday afternoon, he said: “Denmark, obviously, beat us convincingly about 11 months ago, so I think we would like to redress that if we can, naturally.
Rep Ire vs Denmark
October 13, 2018, 7:00pm
“This is part of the preliminary stages of the league itself, the Nations League as it’s called, so three points up for grabs as well. We’d like to try to win the game if we can.
“The players are in good form. We all trained today, Shane Long trained as well, and we’re ready to go.”
Denmark are likely to be without Christian Eriksen, who scored a hat-trick in the win over Ireland last autumn.
“He’s a world class player, of course that is true, but in the same way they would look at some of the players we have missing,” O’Neill added.
“Players who have done brilliantly for us. Obviously a world class player in our captain Seamus Coleman and, of course, we haven’t had the services of Robbie Brady and James McCarthy for some time.
“But we have some terrific footballers including the man sitting beside me [Jeff Hendrick] who’s got some experience now and did great in the Euros a couple of years ago.
“I think he’s capable now of taking on that mantle and kicking on, not only in his own career but for us at international level.
Hendrick, who will start against Denmark, praised the influence of assistant manager Roy Keane, who last month found himself caught up in the controversy surrounding his summer bust-up with Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters.
The Burnley midfielder revealed he had sat down with the former Manchester United and Ireland captain to analyse video clips of his performance in the 4-1 defeat by Wales.
“I sat down with him and he talked me through it and helped me, and I tried to put that into practice in the Poland game,” Hendrick said.
“He played in the same position as I do, so it’s always good to do that.”