Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney wasn’t shy in expressing his feelings about another clash with Ireland, calling the Boys in Green “the most annoying opponent” to play against.
Delaney wasn’t involved the last time the pair clashed in Aarhus, a 0-0 draw, but played in the three previous games over the past two years famously comparing trying to score against Ireland to “trying to open a can of beans with your bare hands.”
The Dortmund midfielder was one of a number of players who were left frustrated by Ireland’s meanness in defence and shyness in attack with Christian Eriksen particularly scathing in his assessment of their style of play.
Speaking to the media as Denmark prepare for the game in Copenhagen, Delaney outlined that the group “don’t like playing Ireland” and when the draw was made his first reaction was “oh no, not them again.”
“We struggle with their tactics when they defend deeply and then one good cross against us could be all they need.
“When I saw that we got Ireland again, I said ‘oh no, not them again’. They’re the most annoying opponent.”
We’ve room for improvement. We don’t like playing Ireland. They don’t play flowing football but they’re skilled at what they do and that makes it a struggle.
“But it’s also easy to sit and defend a 0-0. That’s just maintaining the status quo so it’ll take something different for Ireland to score.”
Ireland will be looking to understandably come out with a more attacking mindset when they face Denmark under the guidance of new boss Mick McCarthy
Delaney was keen to stress that his side need to get away from the battling style that Ireland forced them to play in the last few clashes between the two sides.
“We have to get away from those.
“They were battles, nothing more, and if we go into this game believing that Ireland will be annoying, then they probably will be annoying.”