Mick McCarthy labels Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland as biggest game of his second stint as Ireland manager
- Ireland are currently top of Group D with 10 points from a possible 12 so far
- Mick McCarthy’s side host group favourites Switzerland in Dublin on Thursday
- McCarthy returned as Ireland manager last year taking over from Martin O’Neill
- The Irish have qualified for the last two European Championships in 2012 & 2016
The Republic head into the clash with the Group D favourites sitting top of the pile with 10 points from a possible 12, but knowing they face their sternest test yet at the Aviva Stadium.
Asked if it was the biggest game since he took over from Martin O’Neill last November, McCarthy said: ‘Oh of course, yes, without a doubt, yes.’
Mick McCarthy previously managed Ireland from 1996-2002 leaving after the 2002 World Cup
McCarthy has teamed up with all-time record scorer Robbie Keane, who he used to manage
IRELAND’S REMAINING EURO 2020 QUALIFIERS
- Switzerland, September 5, Dublin
- Bulgaria, September 10, Dublin
- Georgia, October 12, Tbilisi
- Switzerland, October 15, Geneva
- Denmark, November 18, Dublin
Further asked why that was the case, he replied: ‘Well, we’ve had our first games – we’ve done well in those – but Switzerland and Denmark are arguably the best two teams and we’ve got one of them playing (on Thursday) night.’
McCarthy will attempt to secure a victory over the side currently ranked 11th in the world by FIFA with none of his pool of strikers having a senior international game to their name to date.
However, he insisted he does not care where the goals come from as long as Ireland get the result they need.
McCarthy said: ‘I’m not bothered where they come from, but I think the strikers might argue that. They’d like to score the goals.
‘But if they come off and we’ve won, I don’t think anybody’s bothered, and that will be the same (on Thursday night) if we win.
‘Nobody will be bothered who scores.’