Mick McCarthy defends decision not to start Matt Doherty 2 weeks ago

Mick McCarthy defends decision not to start Matt Doherty

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has defended his decision to start Seamus Coleman over Matt Doherty for Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark on Friday night.

Doherty was Ireland's best player in the Premier League this season but he has found himself stuck behind Coleman at international level with the Everton defender retained as captain from the end of the Martin O'Neill era.

Right-back is the most hotly debated position in the Irish team given Doherty's level of performance this season but McCarthy insists he's been happy with what he's seen from Coleman in Ireland's first two qualifiers with Georgia and Gibraltar.

"I think based on the two performances that Seamus played very, very well in both games at right-back," McCarthy told RTE Sport before the game.

"Footballers aren't daft, whatever people think about them, when a team is playing like that against Georgia, they were expecting that same team. The players that were playing then were expecting to play. None of them let anyone down so they deserve to be playing."

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen scored a hat-trick against Ireland during the 2018 World Cup qualifying play-offs but McCarthy has said that he has not given midfielder Glenn Whelan a job of man-marking the Danish maestro.

"No I haven't," added McCarthy.

"We know the team and the way he plays and we have two runners that can get forward in Jeff [Hendrick] and Conor [Hourihane] and Glenn is a holding midfield player so he'll have to take care of the area that he plays in as much as possible as much as following him around.

"I'd like to think that Eriksen will have to get a hold of him because we have so much of the ball."