sport

Why Manchester United legend will see Brentford star as a key man in Denmark squad to face Ireland

The Bees star, who has captained his country, will, no doubt, be hammering the point home about the strength of England's second tier

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel is worried that some Denmark players will take the Republic of Ireland Ireland lightly, given that 14 of their squad play Championship football.

By extension, the goalkeeping great will see the likes of Tottenham star Christian Eriksen and Brentford's Andreas Bjelland as key given their experience of English football and, especially in the latter's case, the Championship.

The Bees star, who has captained his country, will, no doubt, be hammering the point home about the strength of England's second tier.

And, with a World Cup place on the line, the Euro 92 winner is not taking anything for granted.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner ahead of the game, Schmeichel said: “This is my worry, that some of the Danish players that don’t know England don’t know how good the Championship is.

Andreas Bjelland

“There are a lot of Championship players that play in the Ireland team and (the Danes) could go out there thinking ‘they only play in the second tier of English football’.”

He added: “We’re very, very similar. Okay, we talk about Christian Eriksen but he’s the exception to the rule here. He’s a big, world-class star, but the players that we have are not from the Manchester Uniteds, Citys, Liverpools of this world.

“So the vulnerability of playing the big games goes with both teams. The occasion can become really big. So you have players from Wolverhampton, from Derby ... players from the Championship who aren’t used to it.”

That being said, the former Manchester City and Aston Villa man paid tribute to the mental strength shown by the Boys in Green in getting a win in Wales.

“They have incredible mental strength. When you have to go to Cardiff and you must win to stay in the game and you play the best Wales team at getting results that I can remember and you go and win, that’s impressive.”

You are viewing an Accelerated Mobile Page.

Podcasts are not currently supported.

Listen on our website here

Denmark squad: Kasper Schmeichel, Jonas Lossl, Frederik Ronnow, Jannik Vestergaard, Simon Kjaer, Riza Durmisi, Andreas Christensen, Andreas Bjelland, Mathias Jorgensen, Peter Ankersen, Mike Jensen, William Kvist, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Lukas Lerager, Lasse Schone, Pione Sisto, Viktor Fischer, Nicklas Bendtner, Kasper Dolberg, Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Cornelius.

Republic of Ireland squad: Darren Randolph, Rob Elliot, Keiren Westwood, Colin Doyle, Cyrus Christie, Matt Doherty, Paul McShane, Shane Duffy, Ciaran Clark, John O’Shea, Kevin Long, Stephen Ward, Aiden McGeady, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, David Meyler, Harry Arter, Eunan O’Kane, Wes Hoolahan, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean, Shane Long, Daryl Murphy, Scott Hogan, Aiden O’Brien

View full mobile page