Menu Close

Wolves man Doc told to be ready for ‘cup final’

Wolves wing back Matt Doherty has been told to be ready for a ‘cup final’ for the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish, who lead Euro 2020 qualifying Group D, have a play-off at home to second-placed Denmark at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 18.

It’s the final game in the group for the Irish, though Denmark have another match. Both teams are on 12 points and the top two go through to next year’s finals.

Ireland could have qualified on Tuesday night but they failed to fire in the first half of a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland.

Haris Seferovic’s 16th-minute drive and an injury-time own goal from Shane Duffy did the damage, with Coleman seeing red for a second yellow in the 76th minute that led to a penalty, which Darren Randolph saved.

Coleman’s dismissal means he is suspended for the Denmark game, meaning a recall for Doherty, who was an unused substitute for the Swiss game.

McCarthy played with wing backs in a 3-1-4-2 system in Geneva, as the former Wolves manager opted to go with Coleman on the right and James McClean on the left.

But he revealed Doherty will be on the teamsheet for the visit of the Danes.

Matt is in the box seat now to be playing. He’s a Premier League footballer so there’s no issues there,” said McCarthy.

To get first or second (in the group) it was always going to be an over-achievement I think when you look at the two teams.

We’ve still got a chance to do it. A Cup final in the Aviva on November 18, I’d have taken that before and I’ll take it now.”

McCarthy had no qualms about the 2-0 defeat in Geneva.

We were beaten by the better team, considerably the better team actually – certainly in the first half when we didn’t play particularly well,” McCarthy told RTÉ Sport.

Whatever system we’re playing it doesn’t excuse our wayward passing and some of the stuff we did.

I changed it around it and that settled it down a bit in the second half. We played far, far better. I think it was a performance we can be proud of.

The second half, with 10 men, they (Ireland) had a right go. They (Switzerland) are a big, powerful, strong side as well.

They stopped us. But I think it showed in the second half that we are capable of doing it.”