Qatar or bust for Kenny's Ireland era

Mar 30, 2021 00:03 By Dave Hooper
Qatar or bust for Kenny's Ireland era Qatar or bust for Kenny's Ireland era
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
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Stephen Kenny can't afford any slip-ups in Ireland's meaningless friendly with Qatar

A pointless friendly has brought major significance for Stephen Kenny as the Ireland boss goes in search of an elusive first win.

Defeats against Serbia and Luxembourg in this international window have thrown real pressure on the Ireland boss who face just his second friendly game in charge.

Defenders Matt Doherty and Enda Stevens didn't travel to Hungary due to injury with Kenny set to make changes to the team that suffered an embarrassing loss against Luxembourg.


"We had the lion’s share but admittedly we shouldn’t be losing it” explained Kenny on the Luxembourg defeat.

“It’s a home game against Luxembourg and we are expected to win. We didn’t deserve to lose but we must do better."

"We have other options in the squad” explained Kenny on the loss of Doherty and Stevens who started both matches this window.


“Cyrus Christie, Ryan Manning, of course, and James McClean who is just back from injury and came on in the last two games. So we do have other options.

"We played 3-4-1-2 against Serbia and thought it worked brilliantly. I thought it was one of the best displays by an Irish team away from home in recent years and we played very well, lost a narrow game”.

“We made one or two mistakes and got punished in the end which I was disappointed with but I thought the overall display was excellent” declared Kenny.


"It was really disappointing after the game on Saturday, a really really bad result against Luxembourg ultimately but we're looking forward to the game against Qatar tomorrow, and trying to put things right” said Jason Knight who may be named as captain.

“There's a real energy to do that. You can sense it from around the group” declared Knight.

"The young lads coming through need to step up now. This is the international stage and you're here for a reason so it's down to us to ultimately perform and perform when we are asked to”.


Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Kieran O'Hara (Burton Albion).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).


Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (Preston North End, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Conor Coventry (West Ham United).

Wingers: Robbie Brady (Burnley), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).

Strikers: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Shane Long (AFC Bournemouth, on loan from Southampton), James Collins (Luton Town), Troy Parrott (Ipswich Town, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).

Ireland v Qatar

Nagyerdei Stadion - Debrecen

Kick-off: 7.45pm (8.45pm local time)

Referee: Balázs Berke (HUN)

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