A bewildered Mick McCarthy didn’t quite know how to respond to Georgia manager Vladimir Weiss’ comparison of his team to Michael Flatley.
The Republic of Ireland boss was initially bemused when told his counterpart had likened the Euro 2020 Group D leaders to the Riverdance star at his pre-match press conference in Tbilisi on Friday afternoon, but soon warmed to the thought.
McCarthy said: “I don’t know how to answer that. I’m not usually stuck for words.”
When it was explained that Weiss meant that his team plays with great passion and energy, he added: “Oh, I see, I thought he meant we had good feet when we got the ball.
“I think when someone describes you as someone who is as brilliant as Michael Flatley, such a wonderful performer and dancer – and a good guy, actually – I will take that as a huge compliment for my team.
“If anybody is as good at his sport, his discipline, his whatever… He is excellent at it, so I will take that as a huge compliment.”
Ireland will certainly have to be nimble on their feet at the Boris Paichadze Arena if they are to emerge with their lead at the top of the group intact.
They have met Georgia on 10 occasions to date and have won nine and drawn one, but the gap between the sides has closed to negligible proportions in recent times.
In fact, the Boys in Green were fortunate to emerge from their last trip to Tbilisi two years ago with a point – the result rivals Denmark managed at the same venue last month.
Asked if he would settle for the same return this time around ahead of Tuesday’s even tougher trip to Switzerland, McCarthy said: “If we get a point, we will have to go away happy with what we’ve got.
“But we are coming to try and win the game.”