We are nearly guaranteed a play off through the Nations League route even if we finish bottom of our regular qualification group. The two are totally independent. However we have to win a play off semi and a final to make it through the Nations League play off route. Both matches would be one leg only and the final would definitely be an away match and semi more than likely as well. Can’t see us winning the play off route if we tank in the regular qualification group.
Also anyone expecting an improvement in the football and patterns of play under Mick McCarthy could be in for some shock. Mick and most of his cheerleaders in the media are harking back to the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and finals. What about last season with Ipswich? No doubt he did a good job in terms of staying in the championship with the resources he was given financially. However the players were limited so he adopted a very defensive style and they really struggled to score goals or create chances. Sound familiar? I think the bad run maxed out at failing to score in 17 out of 20 matches. Even Martin O’Neills’s poor run wasn’t that bad!