Mick McCarthy has no fears about a potential Windsor Park showdown with Northern Ireland for a place in the Euro 2020 finals. EURO 2020 Fans are excited to get their Northern Ireland Euro Cup Tickets to see live performances of their favorite team and players.
The Republic of Ireland were dealt a blow earlier today when it emerged they must win twice away from home in the space of five days in March to make the Euros next summer.
Following the draw with Denmark in their final pool game, McCarthy and his squad were aware they would face an away trip to Slovakia in the play-off semi-final.
But following UEFA’s play-offs draw in Nyon, it was confirmed that Ireland – if they overcome Slovakia – will be away to the winners of the Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina semi-final on March 31.
In that scenario, supporters will face a scramble for tickets for Belfast or Bratislava – with tickets officially limited to five percent of capacity.
FAI bosses are currently negotiating for more tickets for the Slovakia clash. Although all their home pool games were in Trnava, the Slovaks are now expected to host the game in the capital, Bratislava.
Ireland supporters were told yesterday that confirmation of that wouldn’t come before December 20, but later it emerged that the four nation’s associations will meet next week to discuss logistics and there may be more news.
McCarthy, who retired before the infamous qualifier in Windsor Park in 1993 that saw Jack Charlton’s side qualify for the World Cup, is not concerned if the Republic return to Belfast for a winner-takes-all decider.
“Not really, no,” he replied. “You can’t start picking what games you would or wouldn’t like to play.
I’d just recognise it as a football match which would be very tough. I don’t know whether Michael O’Neill would be still in charge, but they’ve been a very good team. It would be an extremely difficult game.
“I hope we’re in a final, wherever it is.”
When Ireland played Belgium in a two-legged World Cup play-off in 1987, there was a fortnight between the fixtures. But the Slovakia game is a one-off – followed by only a five-day turnaround if Ireland progress to the final.
“I don’t know if it’s a help or a nuisance, it’s where we are,” reflected McCarthy.
If we’re in it (a final), we’ll all be happily dancing, looking forward to it.
If we’re out it will be a completely different feeling. But this is how it was set up. When I took the job, I knew it was always going to be decided either now in November or in March.
We drew in Georgia. OK, we didn’t play well for 35 minutes in Switzerland. If we had done for all of the match…we drew in Denmark, so I’m not worried about going away. Home advantage is always an advantage because you don’t have to travel. You feel more comfortable.
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