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FAI give vote of confidence to Stephen Kenny

The manager’s job is not under immediate threat in spite of last night’s defeat to Luxembourg.

Stephen Kenny, dejected during last night's defeat to Luxembourg.
Stephen Kenny, dejected during last night's defeat to Luxembourg.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

FAI CHAIRPERSON ROY Barrett has backed Stephen Kenny’s position in the wake of last night’s World Cup qualifier defeat to Luxembourg. 

Back-to-back defeats in Ireland’s opening games leaves their World Cup qualifying campaign in a precarious state, though Kenny said in the aftermath that he did not fear for his job. 

Speaking after an EGM this afternoon,  FAI Chairperson Roy Barrett issued Kenny a vote of confidence when asked if the manager still had the full backing of the board.

“It was a disappointing result and a disappointing performance”, said Barrett. “Stephen has said that and Seamus [Coleman] has said that. In terms of where we are at, the usual and normal process is through every window, the performance of the team and how the camp operated is reviewed. That is what will happen this time around. 

“It was a disappointing result but we support them fully going into an important game for the team on Tuesday. 

“It [the review] happens after every window, to make an assessment of how everything worked over each window. It’s pretty normal and that is what we will do this time around. We had a disappointing result last night, everyone knows that, the performance was poor and completely at odds with what it was a few days earlier on Wednesday, and we move on.

“Yesterday was disappointing compared to Wednesday, in terms of the performance of the team and how everything went. I can speak personally, as a board we haven’t had the time or the need to talk about it, but I have a lot of confidence and respect in Stephen and his team in what they are trying to achieve. 

“Last night was a setback on what is a difficult journey, but it is a setback. That’s what it is, but that’s all it is. I have healthy respect for what they are trying to achieve and how they are going about it. My position hasn’t changed on that just because of one result last night.” 

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Asked whether Kenny should be worrying about his position, Barrett replied, “The only thing he should be worrying about now is Qatar and the match on Tuesday and that’s where the focus is at.”

“There’s no doubt this has been a difficult year for Stephen, his team and the team itself and everything that’s been thrown at them”, he continued. “My observation is they’ve shown huge enthusiasm, a lot of professionalism, are very resilient and they’re pretty committed and have a lot of conviction in what they are trying to achieve and I support them on that.”

Barrett was speaking after an EGM at which the FAI membership rubber-stamped a reconstitution of the Association’s Council to a new Fifa-endorsed General Assembly of 141 members. 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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