James McClean rejects Jurgen Klopp's remark about the Uefa Nations League 2 years ago

James McClean rejects Jurgen Klopp's remark about the Uefa Nations League

"If Jurgen Klopp said that then it must be true."

James McClean has dismissed Jurgen Klopp's comments about the new Uefa Nations League tournament.

Following the goalless draw with Manchester City on Sunday at Anfield, the Liverpool manager called the competition, which has been conceived as a measure to replace meaningless friendlies, "the most senseless competition in the world."

However, McClean doesn't agree with Klopp's assessment and said that regardless of the nature of the fixture, Irish players approach the tie in the same manner.

"If Jurgen Klopp said that then it must be true," McClean told reporters in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon.

"We're here to play for our country. It doesn't matter whether it's a friendly, a Uefa Nations League (game) or a qualifier. It means something. It means everything, well to me anyway.

"Yeah, I couldn't care less what Jurgen Klopp says, to be honest. I'm here to represent Ireland. And that means everything."

"It's a competitive game, there are points at stake. It affects you for seedings and rankings, and we're aware of that."


McClean was speaking to media ahead of Ireland's upcoming games in the new tournament. They play Denmark in Dublin on Saturday evening and host Wales next Tuesday.

Ireland got off to a dreadful start in the competition. Martin O'Neill's side lost 4-1 to Wales in Cardiff at the start of September and their fate in the Nations League could be decided over the next 10 days.

If they finish bottom of the mini-group, it would result in relegation to the third tier of the tournament.

More importantly, it would mean O'Neill's team will be seeded third for Euro 2020 qualification.

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McClean picked up an injury on international duty last month but returned to action for Stoke City in their last two matches.

The Derry native, who could win his 60th cap against Denmark, told reporters that his injured wrist is healing well, and it won't rule him out contention for the upcoming games.


However, he refused to call the ties "grudge matches."  And said nothing that happens over the next few days will ease the pain of the 5-1 drubbing by the Danes last winter.

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"It doesn't matter who we play. There are points here at stake and we want to win both games," he said

"We're at home as well, which gives us a slight advantage. But we're up against two good sides. Two sides who in the last two games gave us a pasting. So, we've got something to prove, especially to ourselves.

"Nothing is going to right the wrongs of that night (against Denmark), especially given what was at stake. It was a night that cut very deep. It was very painful. They went on to the World Cup at our expense.

"No matter the result on Saturday, it won't right the wrongs of that night. That's gone. We have to let that go."