Schmeichel tells Danes not to be complacent

Denmark goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel has sent out a warning to the national team to guard against complacency in the upcoming crunch World Cup playoff against the Republic of Ireland.

The former Manchester United stopper was initially very happy being drawn against the Irish but has been thinking again as the tie looms ever nearer.

His main concern lies with the fact that a number of Martin O’Neill’s squad play in the English Championship, which is a level below the Premier League, and Schmeichel is worried that some of the Danes believe they only have to turn up to win.

Darren Randolph and Cyrus Christie from Middlesbrough plus Glenn Whelan from Aston Villa are likely to be Irish starters in the game but the man who won 127 caps for Denmark spoke on his anxiety.

“My worry is that some of the Danish players don’t know how good the English Championship is.

“There are a lot of Championship players in the Irish team and some of our players could go out there thinking, ‘sure, they only play in the second tier of English football’.

“They have got to be reminded that the English Championship is considered the fifth-best league in the world.”

He was hopeful that the English-based players in the team, including his Leicester goalkeeper son Kasper, would convey the message to ensure they know they will be involved in a real hard game.

In terms of picking a winner, the big Dane obviously hopes his country triumphs, but he did say he was finding it difficult to pick a winner and thinks the difference in the game could well the brilliance of Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen.

The midfielder has excelled under Danish coach Age Hareide and has scored in each of the last six games for his country. The first-leg is on Saturday in Copenhagen followed by the return in Dublin on Wednesday night.