Mick McCarthy is not panicking, despite a lacklustre opening display against an amateur Gibraltar side on Saturday amidst a whirlwind of activity off the pitch.
Whilst news of corporate reshuffles and Executive Vice-Presidents continues to dominate the headlines, McCarthy was quick to dispel any talk of corporate governance disrupting his preparations for the Georgia game.
The Republic scraped past Gibraltar in windy conditions on Saturday, Jeff Hendrick’s goal the difference in a 1-0 victory to signal the beginning of the second Mick McCarthy era. McCarthy’s men face much stiffer opposition in the form of Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night, where 45,000 are expected to attend.
When pressed about the rumours that fans are planning a protest involving throwing tennis balls on the pitch on Tuesday, McCarthy was quick to get his point across.
“I’ve been at Charlton when people have done it. It’s not going to help us play any better. I hope they support us. If they want us to have the biggest chance of winning, support us.
“I might take a tennis racket with me.
“Do it somewhere else and another time.
“Unless it’s guaranteed that there’s going to be one, I’m not going to talk about one. I’m not going to talk about it again. We’re coming to play a game and that’s my issue.
“If we do, people will think a lot happier about us and the team. That’s all I want. The mood is great when the fans are behind us and that’s my job to get that back and that’s all I can influence.”
A victory would set Ireland up perfectly for the clash with familiar foes, Denmark, in the summer, and also alleviate the pressure that’s continuing to grow on this misfiring Irish side.
Ireland were restricted to just four shots on target at Gibraltar, despite the home team conceding ten goals in the two games previous, but McCarthy was quick to point to the conditions as a major factor contributing to the
nonperformance of the Irish team.
Additionally, Ireland have scored just two goals in the last six games, and to further compound matters, one has to go back to October 2016 for a game where Ireland have scored more than twice, a 3-1 victory over Moldova.
That means two things; it has been twenty games since we hit the back of the net more than twice, and also there is no doubt that we are in a goalscoring crisis.
“I have to get as many points possible to qualify. How we get them is irrelevant to me. A good performance would make us all feel better.
“I’ll take a win whatever way it comes. Let’s hope we win.”
The Republic of Ireland host Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday.