Mick McCarthy is hoping the Republic of Ireland make life distinctly unpleasant for Switzerland as they arrive in Dublin intent upon leaving with three Euro 2020 qualifier points.
Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer has branded Ireland’s style of play “very unpleasant” in the run-up to the game and while it is a label McCarthy does not necessarily recognise, he will be happy if Sommer’s worst fears are realised on Thursday evening.
McCarthy said: “I thought we played quite pleasantly over the last four games, to be honest.
“My reaction to that; I hope he’s sat in the dressing room afterwards and he’s thinking it’s more unpleasant and he doesn’t want to see us in October.
“We won’t be changing the way we play. We’ll be playing our usual brand, even though some people find it unpleasant.”
The Republic have built themselves a reputation as a combative and spirited team over the years, and few opponents arrive in Dublin without acknowledging their physical and mental strengths.
However McCarthy, who took Ireland to the 2002 World Cup finals in the Far East, has warned Switzerland not to underestimate their ability on the ball.
He said: “I seem to think we’ve done all right when we’ve qualified for competitions. That’s part of the game, part of the Premier League.
“The most aggressive teams in Premier League are Manchester City and Liverpool in terms of high press. You try and get through that and they’ll take you down. That’s aggressive.
"Home crowds are vital to get behind the team and support the team!"— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 4, 2019
“The fact they’ve got £500million worth of full-backs in their teams helps. They are the most aggressive teams in the league, without a doubt.
“I’ve watched Switzerland, by the way, and there’s no shortage of aggression from them, how they work, how they press.
“At the end of it, I’m not really worried. If we win 1-0 and it’s ugly, not pleasant, I’ll be fine with it. You know that.”
⚽️ Jeff Hendrick 💪— UEFA EURO 2020 (@UEFAEURO) March 23, 2019
The Swiss will run out at the Aviva Stadium having carelessly allowed two points to slip from their grasp against Denmark in March, although McCarthy insists that the pressure will be on his team as they launch the significantly-more testing second half of their campaign, which takes them to both Georgia and Switzerland next month.
However, he remains confident that they can get a result against a side currently ranked 11th in the world.
Asked why, he replied: “That’s because I am on 971 games, I think, as a manager and I just know what happens in football and have a good handle on it.”
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