Eriksen will be focused on Denmark qualifiers, says coach Hareide

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Denmark boss Age Hareide is convinced Christian Eriksen (left) will not be distracted when he lines up against the Republic of Ireland (Tim Goode/PA)

Age Hareide is convinced star man Christian Eriksen will not be deflected from Denmark’s Euro 2020 mission by either his Champions League final disappointment or speculation over his future.

The Tottenham schemer joined up with his international team-mates after Saturday night’s heart-breaking defeat by Liverpool and has since found himself firmly in the spotlight after admitting he could leave Spurs this summer, with Real Madrid reportedly circling.

However, Denmark boss Hareide insists none of that will be a distraction as Eriksen attempts to help the Danes secure a qualifier victory over the Republic of Ireland in Copenhagen on Friday evening.

Asked about the player’s response to what happened in Madrid, his manager said: “I think the best way to recover is to have a good game. If you have a good game after a disappointment you tend to get over it in a quicker way, so I think that is important for him.”

Eriksen’s future has taken up many column inches in the days leading up to the match, but Hareide was adamant that too was irrelevant.

He said: “I don’t speak to the players about their club situations. We have a good relationship with the players and it would be a mix-up if I try to talk about that.

“I have to concentrate on the national team. Christian loves to play football and I think his focus is on that. He also loves to play for Denmark and that is the main thing for me.

“He has done well for Tottenham and we had so many special occasions [with him] playing in our side. But he has done his job for Tottenham and Denmark, so we have to wait and see what’s happening.”

Denmark and Ireland have become familiar foes in recent times, with the game at the Telia Parken Stadium the fifth between the sides in a little more than 18 months.

Three of the previous four have ended 0-0, much to the frustration of some of the Danish players, with Eriksen accusing the Republic of being afraid to attack and Thomas Delaney branding their football “primitive”.

However, keeper Kasper Schmeichel said he was unaware of any comments and insisted Denmark would treat Mick McCarthy’s men with the respect they deserve.

Schmeichel said: “I don’t know of any verbal sniping, it’s news to me. I would never say anything disrespectful towards fellow professionals. If you saw my comments after we played Ireland in Dublin, they were more than respectful.

“We have the utmost respect for any team we play. Football is a game where there is no right or wrong way of playing.

“Everyone has their style. We have ours, Ireland have theirs. Theirs is no more correct than ours, so I don’t know the comments, but I can’t imagine there being any disrespect at all.”

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