Republic of Ireland 0-0 Denmark: Martin O'Neill content with Nations League draw

Cyrus Christie attempts to get past Denmark's Yussuf Poulson in Dublin
Martin O'Neill described Cyrus Christie's display against the Danes as "terrific"

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill praised his team's display in the 0-0 Nations League draw with Denmark in Dublin.

The performance was a big improvement on the opening 4-1 defeat by Wales in the new competition although the Danes were minus star man Christian Eriksen.

"The clean sheet was very important. Gives us that confidence again," O'Neill told Sky Sports.

"When we get the ball and play it, we look absolutely fine."

O'Neill felt that the Group B4 leaders' decision to bring on Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen in the closing stages in place of attacker Kasper Dolberg showed the extent that his team were troubling the visitors in the closing stages.

Denmark boss Age Hareide made the substitution shortly after Cyrus Christie had gone close to putting the Irish ahead, with Kasper Schmeichel making a fine save to deny the Fulham player.

"Perhaps maybe Denmark were hanging on for a point in the end.

"We allowed Denmark too much possession early on, they grew into the game whereas we were sitting back. We have to create a few more chances. That said, I don't think Denmark created too many chances."

O'Neill delighted by Christie's display

After stoutly defending Cyrus Christie following criticism from BBC's Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer of the player's display for Fulham against Arsenal last weekend, O'Neill heaped praise on the 26-year-old's performance against the Danes.

Right-back Christie played in an unfamiliar central-midfield role as O'Neill handed a first start to Wolves defender Matt Doherty.

"We were trying to accommodate Doherty as much as we can. This was his debut in front of his home crowd.

"Cyrus played infield tonight. He's played right side of midfield for us [before] and done exceptionally.

"He's athletic and he's fit and I thought he played terrifically tonight."

Stoke winger James McClean also was deployed as a wing-back but insisted that he had enjoyed the role before moving to his more familiar role after Enda Stevens' half-time introduction.

"It wasn't pretty football wise. But we dug in and battled very well," said McClean.

Kasper Schmeichel and Simon Kjaer remonstrate with Jeff Hendrick
Danish players were furious with Jeff Hendrick after controversial early incident

Hendrick 'didn't know' Arter was injured

Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick was involved in a controversial first-half incident as he played on and ran towards goal after the Danish team had stopped following an injury to Republic midfielder Harry Arter.

Having dispossessed Thomas Delaney, Hendrick dragged his shot wide when it seemed easier to score but the midfielder insisted that he had no knowledge of Arter's injury.

"I didn't know Harry was down behind me," said Hendrick, who was confronted by Schmeichel and other Denmark players after the incident.

"We are told since we are kids to play to the whistle and it didn't go. I should have punished them.

"I can understand his anger but what do you want me to do? There was no whistle so I'm not going to stop." added Hendrick.

Schmeichel appeared unconvinced by Hendrick's claim that he was unaware of Arter's injury.

"It would have been a disappointing day for fair play if he had scored. But he didn't and it doesn't matter now," said the Denmark keeper.

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