'It’s probably a game we deserved to win 3-1 or 4-1' - Kenny bemoans finishing after another winless game

Ireland were held 1-1 at home to Azerbaijan.

Stephen Kenny reacts during Ireland's draw with Azerbaijan.
Stephen Kenny reacts during Ireland's draw with Azerbaijan.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

STEPHEN KENNY LAMENTED his side’s finishing as they rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Azerbaijan. 

“It’s probably a game we deserved to win 3-1 or 4-1, we created a lot of chances”, said Kenny. ”

“We started the first 15 minutes really, really well. We got right on top. They had a spell of possession which was always likely. They didn’t really create anything, just the one chance on the break in the second half.

“We had so many chances where we missed the target a lot which was disappointing. We sort of paid the price for that.

“We listed the chances we had with the coaching staff and it’s probably in double figures. With the chances we had, we missed the target far too often, we were inaccurate to say the least. If we don’t concede that goal we’re in a good position in the second half, shooting into that end. We just shot ourselves in the foot.”

Kenny also bemoaned how Ireland fell behind, allowing too much space for Emin Makhmudov to curl a stunning long-range goal beyond Bazunu. 

“We have seen him do that before, we should have closed him down more than we did. It was a killer blow right on half-time and it changed the narrative.

“To concede a goal in the 45th minute, it’s a terrible time to concede. It changes the narrative, the goalkeeper was going down, the players were going down, the physio was taking an eternity to get on the pitch and it disrupts your rhythm. We still made good chances but didn’t finish in the way we should have done.”

With just one point out of a possible 12, Ireland’s is a flagging campaign that will mathematically be put out of its misery if they fail to beat Serbia in Dublin on Tuesday. 

In that context, Kenny was asked how he feels he is doing as Irish boss. 

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“Results overall certainly haven’t been what I would have wanted”, he replied, “but we are building a very good team, you could see that in Portugal. We were 1-0 up and end up losing in injury time so it’s disappointing. Today we should have won, we dominated the game. 

“It’s not for me to say how I am doing but we are building a team that can be very exciting. Today we saw a lot of good football.” 

There were a smattering of boos at the full-time whistle, albeit quickly drowned out by applause in response. 

” I think the crowd were brilliant, they got behind the team, I didn’t take it as they were booing the team, they were just disappointed at the end that we couldn’t get the winner”, said Kenny. 

“I think they saw a team who gave everything, they created a lot of chances, we should have closed down for the goal, we had a high number of chances, a lot of good play but we couldn’t get the goal we deserved against a blanket defence which hard to break down.” 

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Gavin Cooney

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