INPHO/James Crombie Manager Stephen Kenny (file pic).

'A two-month contract?' Kenny dismisses talk of minor Nations League extension

The Irish boss is optimistic he will be in charge for the forthcoming Euros campaign.

LAST UPDATE | Dec 18th 2021, 12:07 PM

IRELAND BOSS Stephen Kenny has dismissed any suggestion of a compromise on his new contract.

Amid the uncertainty over his future, there was talk of a potential deal that would enable him to see out the Nations League campaign only.

Kenny’s current deal is due to expire in July, with the first four Nations League fixtures set to take place in June.

The final two Nations League matches have been scheduled for September.

RTÉ pundit Liam Brady was one person suggesting that an extension should be made only to the end of the Nations League campaign, before a long-term decision on his future is taken.

However, Kenny dismissed this idea when talking to reporters on Friday.

Asked whether he believed a deal to last until the end of the forthcoming Euros campaign would be the minimum of his expectations, Kenny replied: “You mean as opposed to a two-month contract from July to September?

“That would not make sense. That would only be a two-month contract from July to September.

“I’ve never heard of such a contract before. It would be quite unprecedented.

“Listen, we’ve just started talking and everything will be ironed out in due course.”

Kenny was also asked about the possibility of a reduced severance package should the Euros campaign go awry and was not happy with the suggestion.

“I don’t know why that would be reported, I’ve no idea why it would be reported.

“It’s not something that I would be concerned about. Talks are ongoing, they have just started really.

“So it’s not something that I’m overly concerned with. I’m looking forward to the Nations League campaign and I am sure and pretty certain that I will be the manager for the European Championship campaign as well.

“So it will be sorted out in due course.”

He continued: “I was at Sheffield Wednesday against Portsmouth over the last week in England. We sat down and had a chat and listen: that’s just an introductory chat, so I’m sure that will go on over the next couple of weeks. So it’s started and we can progress from there.

“We just had an initial chat, that was only in the last week or so.

“I’m sure that we’ll work it all out in time. I don’t see it as any major issue. I’m sure that we can move forward and sort it all out.

“It’s a process really and I’m just involved in the start of the process.”

Kenny is also hopeful at being able to retain all his backroom staff — and that the likes of Anthony Barry and Dean Kiely, who also coach in the Premier League at Chelsea and Crystal Palace respectively, will be committing long term to the set-up.

“We love working together and have a great working environment. The whole backroom team, the more work we’ve done together, the better we’ve got as a unit working together. And we’d like to keep it intact, that would be the idea. They’d ideally like to stay on, of course.

“It’s six months. The contract’s not up until next July. For them, because they’re involved in day to day with their clubs, they’re not thinking real long term. Yeah, they both want to stay onboard and they’re a very important part of the set-up going forward.”

The Irish boss, meanwhile, confirmed his side were planning to play two friendlies at home in March against yet-to-be-identified opponents.

He also played down any suggestion that some of the older members of the squad, such as James McCarthy or Darren Randolph, may retire before the new campaign begins.

“No, nobody has opted out. We don’t have huge numbers. We don’t want anyone opting out. Darren Randolph has to get back playing at a good level for sure. He’s not old at all, in goalkeeping terms, he’s still got plenty of football left in him.

“James McCarthy has had a few games with Celtic but obviously needs some other games. I wouldn’t like to rule anyone out. To the best of my knowledge, there are no retirements or anything like that.”

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