Christian Eriksen says he was nervous before Denmark win over Republic of Ireland
Last Updated: 14/11/17 10:55pm
Christian Eriksen admitted he was trying to suppress his nerves before he led Denmark to the World Cup with a 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland.
Despite three sublime goals, the Spurs playmaker - who will now turn his attention to Saturday's north London derby against Arsenal, live on Sky Sports Premier League, said he had pre-match jitters.
He told Sky Sports: "I know how nervous I was all day and all night, looking forward to the game, trying to keep my nerves down, get involved, get the ball as much as possible compared to the first game, but of course we got the ball, played a lot better than the first game, created chances and luckily got five goals."
Thanks to his three strikes sandwiched between a Cyrus Christie own goal and a late Nicklas Bendtner penalty, Denmark will be heading to Russia next summer at the Republic of Ireland's expense.
Eriksen said: "It's an incredible feeling and we've been fighting for so long to get there, we've had two very hard play-off games, but with the result we got tonight we can very pleased, I am looking forward to the World Cup."
Reflecting on his hat-trick, Eriksen said it will stay with him for a long time, singling out the middle goal as the best.
"It's not that often I score any hat-trick, so it's obviously incredible to get to a World Cup with three goals away in a play-off, so it's going to mean a lot for my whole career and my whole life," he said.
"The second one was probably the most technical, better than the other ones."
The three goals at the Aviva took Eriksen to 11 for the qualifying campaign, the best for a midfielder, something he puts down to the influence of manager Age Hareide.
"I think mentally I've grown up, I am taking more shots, than passing," he said. "I am thinking more like a striker. With the change of the manager, of how we play, it has meant a lot for how we play and my position and how we keep me involved."