"I still think it will have zero impact on Monday, it'll be a totally different 10/11 that lines out" 3 weeks ago

"I still think it will have zero impact on Monday, it'll be a totally different 10/11 that lines out"

Let's not kid ourselves. Let's not get carried away here.

Mick McCarthy is stubborn as a held-up boulder. Plans are plans and formulas are formulas. He has his and he won't be budging soon, certainly not by Monday.

Three days to go until Denmark, the Republic of Ireland manager will have had his mind made up weeks ago. New Zealand or no New Zealand. Players would have needed to shoot the lights out here just to be in the reckoning.

We can dream but dreams they will remain.

Thursday night and some of the Irish lads had us fantasising.

Yes Ireland were up against a lowly New Zealand team but that's a lowly New Zealand who are higher thought of than the Gibraltar side we twice stuttered over in Euro qualifying.

In the first half, Ireland were all over them. Mick McCarthy's second string were playing a brand of football we hadn't seen since his second coming. It was a decent brand and it was lovely to watch.

Jack Byrne was lording it in the middle - making space for himself and making inroads for the Irish forwards. In front of him, Seani Maguire was making hay with the service while Troy Parrott dazzled with his elegance.

Lee O'Connor looks a gem out at right full and Callum Robinson was zippy.

We put three past them but it could have been four or five as Ireland created chances aplenty. But afterwards, we were reminded that this was only a friendly and that it wasn't even a trial run.

Damien Duff, speaking on RTÉ, was the one who cut us down to size.

"I still think it will have zero impact on Monday. It'll be a totally different 11/10 maybe that's out..."

Even Robbie Brady's chances are slim.

"They're (Denmark's) full backs play high up the pitch, they bomb on - so our full backs will have to track them. For Robbie, after 90 minutes tonight, tracking them up and down the pitch - it's going to be a big ask. Forget the attacking stuff, Mick will be looking at who is the best option for him defensively, just to keep a good shape..."

Mick McCarthy confirmed as much in his post match interview with Tony O'Donoghue.

"I think he needs more game-time, I don't think he's really match sharp..."

Back to the hoofing and banking on set-pieces. Monday is going to be a long night.