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Keith Andrews speaking on Virgin Media Sport.
Keith Andrews speaking on Virgin Media Sport.

'No doubt' Irish players are capable of playing Kenny's passing style says assistant manager Andrews

Keith Andrews says it’s currently a case of ‘short-term pain for long-term gain.’
Apr 6th 2021, 8:38 PM 8,537 8

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND assistant manager Keith Andrews has refuted the claims the Irish players are not capable of playing the style of football he and manager Stephen Kenny are trying to implement. 

A wretched run of 11 games without a win under Kenny has drawn a barrage of criticism, and some of it has questioned whether Ireland have the quality off player capable of playing as the manager wants. Speaking on Virgin Media’s Champions League coverage tonight, however, Andrews rejected that opinion. 

“I can’t be a hypocrite, when you don’t win in 11 games you have to take criticism, that’s part and parcel of the gig, it comes with the territory. In terms of what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve, it absolutely suits the players. There is no doubt.” 

“In terms of the style we are trying to employ”, he continued, “I’ve worked with some of these players since they were 15 years of age, a lot of the younger ones, and I’ve watched some of the senior players with their clubs in England, they are capable of playing [this style]. 

“You have to accept that level of criticism as the result doesn’t come,  but old fashioned, are we talking about playing direct? We haven’t got the personnel to play like that. We don’t have a big strong target man who we can play off and go direct. A lot of these younger players play in a certain way with their club and through the 21s with us.

“But you have to take the criticism. That’s where we are at. Short-term pain, if that’s the way you want to look at it, and hopefully it will be long-term gain, in terms of how we collectively get a team we’re all looking at and thinking, ‘We are proud watching, coaching and playing within this team and consistently contending to get into European Championships and to World Cups.’

“It was never going. to be easy, especially in the current climate, and no we’re not happy with how it has gone especially with results, but there’s a lot to take from certain things, particularly the connection with players in the last camp. But obviously the Luxembourg one is not easy to take.”

Andrews also spoke of how he and Kenny are “obsessed” with their jobs, and achieving their stated aims. 

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“I am obsessed with this role. Stephen is obsessed with this role and trying to do the right things. I think you have to block the exterior noise out when you’re in camp. When it comes back and the dust settles and you hear things from friends and family, it’s the national team, that’s the way it is.

“This is what we are living and breathing, we are already planning for the summer and keeping tabs on the players.”

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Gavin Cooney


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