Dublin: 11°C Friday 15 October 2021

'We've always believed in what Stephen's trying to do'

Matt Doherty says the Irish squad are still backing the manager’s methods.

Ireland's Matt Doherty (file pic).
Ireland's Matt Doherty (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

IRELAND DEFENDER Matt Doherty says the squad are fully behind manager Stephen Kenny following recent speculation over his future.

The Dubliner’s current deal runs out in July and a disappointing run of one win in 16 games has led to uncertainty over whether his contract will be extended.

Yet the Tottenham star insists the team still firmly believe in the ex-Dundalk coach’s methods.

“We’ve always believed in what Stephen is trying to do,” he told RTÉ Sport.

“We get coached brilliantly with Anthony Barry and Keith Andrews, all the backroom staff, we’ve no complaints at all. The game plans they set us up with are really good.

“If you saw what they were doing with us on the training pitch, then people would really understand where we’re trying to go.

“You could see against Portugal and you saw again tonight that we can play against some of these top nations and not look out of place. We’ll keep doing the right things.”

Talk over whether Kenny was the right man for the job intensified following Saturday’s frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Azerbaijan, though the team responded with an improved display against Serbia on Tuesday.

“The game the other day feels like a loss and this feels like a win, even though it’s a point for each game,” Doherty said.

“I know we came back but I think we were expected to beat Azerbaijan.


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“Serbia played a really attacking team but knew we just had to stay in the game until 70-75 minutes and roll the dice in the end.

“Gav [Bazunu] had a great game considering he got man of the match also. They did have chances but I don’t think us scoring at the end was undeserved.

“If we keep trying to play the right way, I’m sure the results will come, though I know I’ve been saying that for a while.”

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