Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has been reacting to his side’s Euro 2020 qualification group which was drawn at the convention centre in Dublin on Sunday morning.
The Boys in Green were handed an incredibly favourable group as they face Switzerland, Denmark, Georgia and Gibraltar in Group D of the competition.
McCarthy’s side narrowly avoided the apparent group of death in the qualifiers due to a technicality which meant that more than two host nations could not be drawn against each other.
Group C contained Holland and Germany and Ireland were originally drawn with the two giants of European football but were moved to Group D, which is a much less daunting task.
“It was a surprise,” McCarthy told RTÉ Sport‘s Tony O’Donoghue immediately after the draw.
“I’m not saying our group is any easier, but Germany and the Netherlands would have been a very tough ask.”
Ireland have a number of old foes in their group, including the likes of Denmark and Georgia. McCarthy was optimistic when discussing the task of the Danes, explaining that he feels it’s about time his side defeated their old rivals.
“I watched the games from the Nations League and we got a couple of decent results against them. It was a different time. We’re going to try to beat all the teams, whatever happened between us and Denmark is in the past, there’s nothing I can do about that.”
The group also represents a chance for Mick McCarthy to exact some revenge on Switzerland, the team he faced in his last game in charge of the Republic of Ireland during his first spell at the helm.
“Yes, Switzerland was my very last game.
“I’d made my mind up already that I was going, and I tried to win the game but of course we got done on the break, they scored a great goal which made it 2-1 so that was sad to end on that note but I’ve got a chance for revenge now haven’t I?”
The fixtures for Ireland’s Group D games will be announced later this afternoon with the qualifiers set to begin in March.