Mick McCarthy heaps praise on the Ireland players after win over Georgia
"The all-round team performance, I thought was excellent."
Mick McCarthy has praised his players for an impressive performance in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia on Tuesday night.
Conor Hourihane's brilliant free-kick gave the Republic of Ireland a massive win and put them top of Group D. However, this wasn't a hard-fought, laboured 1-0 win at the Aviva Stadium. Ireland were full value for the victory.
McCarthy's team were aggressive without the ball and constructive in possession. There was evidence of a plan, some structure to the team and a belief in what they were doing. It was the best Irish display in Dublin for quite some time.
What an enjoyable game. Great stuff from Ireland#IRLGEO #COYBIG https://t.co/lhh3UrWuPv
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) March 26, 2019
Following the match, McCarthy praised his side and said he was happy with each of the players he sent out.
However, he reserved special praise for David McGoldrick, the man of the match, Hourihane, the goalscorer, and Glenn Whelan, Ireland's most experienced player who was excellent in central midfield.
"There was a lot that pleased me tonight, (the) individual performances," the Ireland manager said in the post-game press conference.
"The all-round team performance, which I thought was excellent. We’ve had a great week, working and training. We’ve stopped them from doing what they want to do. I thought we played some really good football.
"Conor Hourihane, the three midfielders were a different class, I thought. Didsy up front was excellent. Some good performances all over the place."
What a strike from @ConorHourihane! Ireland lead! (1-0)#COYBIG #IRLGEO 🇮🇪🇬🇪pic.twitter.com/GPeFxlHL3F
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) March 26, 2019
"It was an excellent performance, I know Didsy, I trust him. I love how he plays and what he does," McCarthy said about the Sheffield United forward McGoldrick, who earned a standing ovation when he was substituted.
The Ireland manager went on to say that Whelan was "absolutely remarkable" in the game.
"For 35, it’s a testimony to how well he has looked after himself. I thought he had a really, really good game. He started us playing and he broke things up."
McCarthy then praised Hourihane for his impact in the tie and also revealed he tried to sign him at club level.
"Obviously, I'm delighted because his performance on Saturday was excellent," he said.
"Tonight his deliveries his free-kicks and corners were good. The goal was something special, wasn't it?
"I'm pleased for him because I've always believed in him and thought he was a good player. I tried to sign him but we didn't have any money because he went elsewhere.
Next up for McCarthy and Ireland is Denmark away on June 7 and Gibraltar at home three days later.
While there is still a lot of room for improvement, Tuesday's result, and the six points in the bag, give the team a solid base as they try to qualify for Euro 2020.