Robbie Brady has told his Republic of Ireland team-mates to forget the fear of suspension as they attempt to take a foothold in their World Cup play-off with Denmark.
The Republic head into Saturday evening’s game in Copenhagen with nine men – Darren Randolph, Cyrus Christie, Shane Duffy, Ciaran Clark, Stephen Ward, Glenn Whelan, Harry Arter, Aiden McGeady, James McClean and Daryl Murphy – one card away from a ban which would rule them out of Tuesday’s second leg in Dublin.
Denmark too will walk something of a tightrope with 10 players in a similar position, although Brady, who himself has already served two suspensions during the campaign, insists that cannot be on their minds.
He said: “There are a few going into the game tomorrow on yellow cards. I don’t think you can concentrate too much on that.
“We’ve got a job to do – get that done first and foremost and go from there. But hopefully we can avoid any more yellows. It would be helpful.”
At just 25, Brady is one of Martin O’Neill’s key men having forged a reputation on the international stage at the Euro 2016 finals, where Ireland made it to the last 16.
With many of the country’s biggest names having retired in recent years, Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane among them, a new generation of leaders has emerged and the former Manchester United trainee is one of them.
Qualifying for the finals of the last two European Championships via the play-offs has aided that process, and Brady is hopeful there is more to come.
He said: “It’s a different squad. We’ve had a couple of senior players and a couple of head figures that have the left.
“Over the last couple of years, it’s been good to knit together some of the new players coming in and showing we’ve got a strong group of players.
“As for me, I was there a couple of years ago before the new lads came in and I’m just there to help them settle in and sort of bed in.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve had some good results and we’ve had a decent campaign so far. Hopefully we can continue that.
“We know they (Denmark) have some fantastic players. It’s going to be a really tough game.”