Republic of Ireland skipper Coleman fires warning to Denmark
Seamus Coleman has warned Denmark that the Republic of Ireland owe them one as the familiar foes prepare to meet once again.
The two sides will go head-to-head in a Euro 2020 qualifier next Friday evening have faced each other four times inside the last 18 months.
Three of those games – the last of which in November last year proved to be Martin O’Neill’s last in charge – ended 0-0, while the fourth resulted in a crushing 5-1 play-off victory for the Danes in Dublin which ended Ireland’s World Cup dream.
Coleman could only look on that night as his hopes of a trip to Russia went up in smoke as he recovered from the an horrendous double leg fracture suffered earlier in the campaign, but the 30-year-old Ireland skipper has not forgotten the pain.
He said: “You try your best not to go in with those thoughts, you just want to take the game on the game, but you just keep going back to it.
“I feel like we owe them one, definitely. We know that they’re a good nation with some Champions League players and all the rest, so it will be tough.
“But I fully believe. I’m glad we’re going away first and the togetherness that we have, we’re all looking forward to the game, which is a good sign.”
Coleman’s comments came in Portugal, where he and his team-mates, among them 18-year-old Bolton midfielder Luca Connell, are spending a week in a training camp at Quinta do Lago.
Everton fan Connell was thrilled to meet the Toffees full-back, who was in turn happy to welcome him into the fold.
Asked if the teenager’s arrival made him feel old, Coleman said with a smile: “It definitely does, unfortunately.
“When I came in, people were good to me – Damien Duff, John O’Shea, Robbie (Keane), they were good to you and you don’t forget that, so it was a case of just getting their number before they meet up and dropping them a message just to let him know he’s going to be welcome.
“It might not seem like a lot, but I try to rewind to being at that stage myself and if I’d have got a message – and I’m not on Robbie Keane’s level by any means – but if I’d have got a message from a Robbie Keane, you’d be 10 feet tall, so that’s what I was trying to do.
“He’s a great little lad. He’s a lovely lad. He’s just a nice mannerly young lad, happy to be here and that’s important.
“But then there’s no point having that if you’re not going to be good on the pitch and yesterday, he showed us he was good on the pitch too.”
Coleman met up with Ireland after helping Everton to a strong finish, but ruing the one that got away after their FA Cup fourth round exit at the hands of Sky Bet Championship side Millwall.
Coleman said: “That wasn’t good enough, definitely not good enough for an Everton team. From us at the time as players, it wasn’t good enough and that kind of hurts for a while.
“You don’t just forget about about things like that overnight because the club needs to win something and it’s capable of winning something.
“But the way we finished the season definitely gives you hope and belief that we can carry that on going forward.”