The Republic of Ireland squad used the jibes of Danish duo Thomas Delaney and Christian Eriksen as
motivation ahead of their 1-1 draw in Copenhagen on Friday night.
Mick McCarthy’s side continued their strong start in Group D by adding a hard-earned point to the earlier wins over Gibraltar and Georgia. They top the section ahead of a home clash with Gibraltar on Monday evening in Dublin.
The Danes are fourth after following up a draw against Switzerland with this point against Ireland and they will host Georgia on Monday.
Ahead of what was a fifth meeting between Denmark and Ireland in just over 18 months, the Danish camp had plenty to say about their visitors.
Having previously described the Republic’s football as ‘primitive’, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Delaney dubbed the Irish as the ‘most annoying opponent’ in international football ahead of the game.
Tottenham playmaker Eriksen said the Republic were ‘too scared to go forward’ during a Nations League draw in Aarhus back in November.
Eriksen famously fired a hat-trick at the Aviva Stadium in November 2017 as Denmark thrashed Ireland 5-1 in a playoff second leg that sent them to last summer’s World Cup in Russia.
However, the other four clashes have all ended level and midfielder James McClean says Denmark haven’t got as much to shout about as they might wish to believe.
“It’s not nice when professionals criticise you,” said McClean.
“Fair enough they beat us 5-1 but we’ve drawn the other four games we’ve played recently. They’re not that much better than us themselves, are they?” Ireland are 5.25 to beat Gibraltar 4-0 on Monday evening.