Mick McCarthy reveals what he said in the dressing room after Georgia win
Mick McCarthy was beaming with pride after closing out his first week back in the Irish hot seat with six points from six.
While the Republic of Ireland were expected to get past Gibraltar on Saturday with less difficulty than they showed in testing conditions, they played some brilliant stuff on Tuesday, when they hosted Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.
A stunning free kick from Conor Hourihane 10 minutes before half-time was enough to send Ireland top of Group D and while tougher tasks lie ahead, McCarthy was thrilled with what he saw on the pitch midweek.
When asked what he said to his players after Tuesday's win, McCarthy told Virgin Media Sport: "That 'is that the Irish team that can't play like an Irish team and stop teams playing and play good football on the back of it?'
"I've been sick of all the negativity and people saying we haven't got good players"
"I'm delighted with the players, we've had a great time together"#IRLGEO #Euro2020 #VMSport pic.twitter.com/lpRUVLCjUv
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 26, 2019
"I said that I've been sick of all the negativity and people telling me that we haven't got good players. Well tonight, I think we've seen that we have.
"People might say that it's only Georgia but Georgia are a good side and have dominated possession in the past when we've played against them.
"I'm delighted with the players. We've had a great time together. Training's been brilliant, they've been great, they've committed to it and they've got six points, which they're all thrilled with."
McCarthy changed things up between Saturday and Tuesday, switching from the 4-4-2 he played in Gibraltar.
And the returning Irish boss assured fans that they can expect more 4-3-3 throughout the qualification campaign for Euro 2020.
"There was no chance I was going to play 4-4-2 against this mob. They'd have bashed us completely," McCarthy added.
"They'd have dominated the ball. We had to match them up and stop them playing, which I thought the lads did. They did everything I asked of them.
"And then we played some really good football off that shape. If I have to change it, I will, but that probably suits us against most of the teams in the group."