BURNLEY midfielder Jeff Hendrick says the Republic of Ireland team are well aware of the gravity of their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark.

Ireland will be hoping they can do enough to secure the win in the Group D clash in Dublin tonight, knowing that would secure automatic qualification for next summer’s European Championships.

“The squad will be ready for it,” the 27-year-old said.

“It’s massive – it’s a cup final game.

“Us as a country, I don’t think we’ve ever been in the situation where we can qualify from our group.”

Failure to win would give Switzerland the upper hand, with their game against lowly Gibraltar taking place at the same time.

If they fail to make it through automatically, they do still have a chance through the 16-team play-offs, taking place next March.

Hendrick says the team are used to competing in the play-offs, having qualified for Euro 2016 using that method, however they’re hoping they can buck the trend.

“We’ve always had to go through the play-off route and that’s the hard way,” he said.

“It’s probably the way we’ve been used to over the years, but it would be a great feeling to qualify in November.”

Securing a play-off place is not completely guaranteed, with the complicated process being determined by the UEFA Nations League standings.

Ireland finished the Nations League ranked 23rd, sitting second bottom of League B.

Ten teams, all of whom are ranked higher than Ireland, have already secured qualification for Euro 2020.

Iceland are guaranteed a playoff place, meaning of the 11 remaining teams ranked higher than Ireland, if less than five do not secure automatic qualification, Ireland will miss out on a play-off place.

With group rivals Denmark and Switzerland both ranked higher than Ireland, Mick McCarthy's side only need three other teams to qualify.

With those teams including Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands, it’s looking likely that the Republic will at least have a spot in next spring’s play-offs.