Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

21.42 21 Nov 2019


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John Giles believes Seamus Coleman should remain ahead of Matt Doherty for now in the battle for the Ireland right-back slot.

Ireland can still qualify for Euro 2020 but it will have to be through the playoffs, firstly against Slovakia.

There is a little bit more optimism about the Boys in Green's chances after an improved performance against Denmark.

Indeed, John believes Mick McCarthy's side "deserved to win" the eventual 1-1 draw. And he also believes there has been "an improvement since Mick took over".

But he also gave his take on Doherty. The Wolves right-back deputised for suspended captain Coleman. In terms of lowlights, John pointed out that he was at fault for Denmark's goal. But he also scored the equaliser and impressed John overall.

"I think he's a very, very good player. But [Enda] Stevens is a very good player as well," he said.

"When I said earlier on that they could play Doherty at left-back, but it would be very hard on Stevens.

Difficult

"I think the problem that Mick had was that he didn't have a run into the competitive matches. It's very, very difficult to put him into a match when you haven't seen him or you don't know what he can do.

"I mean, would you leave Seamus Coleman out? You couldn't leave him out instead of Doherty. I think Seamus is a better player and I like Doherty and I think he's a terrific player. But I think Seamus Coleman, you couldn't leave him out.

"So what we're talking about now is looking for a position for Doherty. But Stevens at left-back, you couldn't fault him."

But should the Wolves player's performance against Denmark change the pecking order dynamic with Coleman for March's playoff semi-final against Slovakia?

John still believes Coleman should get the nod. But he also suggested a potential experiment with Doherty down the line.

"It's the same decision he has to make for the start," John replied.

"If it was my opinion, I think Seamus Coleman is a better full-back than Doherty. And I think it's a shame that Doherty's such a good player in that particular squad that we can't find a place for him. Maybe if we get a couple of friendly matches and you could play him in midfield. But all the matches that Mick has played have been competitive matches. We didn't have a build-up to it. I'd say Mick would love to have a game where he could put Doherty in midfield."

You can watch the full chat with John Giles below via our YouTube channel.


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Denmark Enda Stevens Euro 2020 Ireland John Giles Matt Doherty Off The Ball Seamus Coleman Slovakia

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