KENNY WOE Brian Kerr admits Ireland have big concerns as boss Stephen Kenny admits Covid woes have undermined Ireland's hopes
Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr suggested Stephen Kenny will take little from his side's 0-0 draw against Bulgaria, as an agonising international break ended in predictable fashion.
Kenny has now failed to win any of his first eight matches in charge of the senior side, with the latest dour encounter marking a seventh successive game without a goal from a much-changed Ireland side.
While Kenny lost almost half of his original squad due to injuries and issues surrounding the Covid-19 virus, Kerr told Virgin Media Sport that his latest test on the international stage may have been his most disappointing yet.
"There is very, very little to take from that," stated Kerr. "It was a match too far with all the various disruptions, losing more players, throwing in young players who are not ready to win matches for us at international level. Or score goals for us at international level.
"I would say tonight was the poorest performance since Stephen took over. I'd say there was very few of the players who played tonight have done much favour in terms of being in his best eleven.
"It was disappointing. Bulgaria are struggling, but I have every sympathy for Stephen because it has been awful."
"I would say there was very few players who played tonight have done themselves much favour in terms of being in his best XI for March."— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 18, 2020
Brian Kerr after 🇮🇪 0-0 🇧🇬.#IRLBUL | #COYBIG | #NationsLeague pic.twitter.com/mg5C7k5GFA
Ireland striker James Collins’ disappointment at failing to beat Bulgaria was tempered slightly by the point which meant they avoided relegation in the UEFA Nations League.
"We came into the game tonight wanting to win, definitely not lose the game," the Luton man told Sky Sports. "We wanted to win the game and we had the better chances to do that, but we just couldn’t break them down, but I suppose on a positive note, we haven’t been relegated, so that’s a bit of good news.”
Meanwhile, Ireland manager Kenny admitted he had endured a challenging period, as he admitted the loss of so many players had left him with an uphill task to succeed in this international break.
Stephen Kenny spoke to @AnnMarie_Keegan after a 0-0 draw with Bulgaria wrapped up Ireland's Nations League campaign.— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 18, 2020
âªï¸ "Erratic passing."
âªï¸ Praise for the players.
âªï¸ Two difficult international breaks.
âªï¸ The youth in the squad.
âªï¸ Looking forward to March.#BULIRL | #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/3jVEjVFr1P
"We need to win games, we are under no illusions about that," stated Kenny. "We didn't play well in the first half, our passing was erratic. We played better in the second half and should have won the game.
"It's unusual, the whole situation, it's been unprecedented, nobody really knows what we've had to deal with, to be honest with you. It has been challenging for everyone, the players always given everything and have shown a great mentality.
"We have had to blood a lot of players in a short space of time and some have stood up. What we saw in Slovakia is what we're well capable of, and more.
"In the last window we lost eight players through Covid-19, close contacts and so on, and we lost a lot of players in this camp but the players have been very positive and we blooded a lot of young players so we have a real squad for the World Cup qualifiers in March."
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