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HUNGARY FOR SUCCESS 'I would have wanted to do better. I wouldn't try to paint a different picture' says Ireland boss Stephen Kenny

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny celebrates his first victory as Ireland boss in Andorra. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny celebrates his first victory as Ireland boss in Andorra. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Troy Parrott of the Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his second goal against. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Troy Parrott of the Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his second goal against. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny celebrates his first victory as Ireland boss in Andorra. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Stephen Kenny feels that a difficult first season in the Ireland job will stand to the team in the long run.

With the exception of Shamrock Rovers midfielder Danny Mandroiu, Kenny's Ireland squad will go on their summer break after Tuesday's friendly in Hungary.

It is the 13th game of Kenny's tenure with extra games crammed into the breaks to make up for lost time on account of the Covid shutdown.

Ireland suffered Euros heartache in October and a nightmare start to their World Cup campaign in March with losses to Serbia and Luxembourg.

But Kenny feels the lessons of the games and the transition in the squad will pay off over time.

“Listen, I would have wanted to do better than I have overall. There's no doubt. I wouldn't try to paint a different picture," said Kenny, speaking from Hungary.

"For a country like Ireland, it would have been amazing (to qualify for the Euros), there's no doubt about that and, yeah, our performance in Slovakia, we dominated that game for long periods and to lose on penalties was the cruellest of fates and there's nothing we can do about it.

"We have to move on and look forward. We are in the midst of building a team at the moment, one we can be very proud of in the future.

"I think there's a clear vision of the team we want to create. I want the team to have a clear identity. We have 13 players who made their senior international competitive debut.

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Troy Parrott of the Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his second goal against. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Troy Parrott of the Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his second goal against. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Troy Parrott of the Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his second goal against. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"That's quite a radical shift and we are creating a stronger squad going forward for the three-game windows. A team that the supporters can identify with.

“Some of the teenagers didn't progress as quickly with their clubs for injuries and other reasons but we have a degree of exciting attacking talent and some players really emerging all the time.

“For example, some players who we have brought into this camp have really emerged. Overall we are looking for a good performance in Hungary.

"We'll want to finish the week strongly and take that into the September window because we have nine points to play for. Portugal, Azerbaijan and Serbia. Tough matches. We want to have a strong September and we want this week to help us to do that and give us the platform to do that.”

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Troy Parrott was the hero of Thursday's win over Andorra, scoring a brace to get off the mark at senior level. Jason Knight, another player still eligible for the U-21 side, also broke his duck. These are amongst the players that Kenny has in mind when he speaks about a brighter future

Parrott failed to score on a loan spell at Millwall in the Championship and could only register two goals down in League One with Ipswich but his international manager pointed out that the Spurs player did see a lot of game time.

"Listen, there was a lot of people.. a lot of speculation.. that he hadn't merited or done enough to be in the squad because he's not had the season he would have liked to have, although he did have a lot of football throughout the season playing in different positions," said the 49-year-old.

“There was a possibility of leaving him with the U-21s for the tournament in Spain but I do think our younger players coming through - even though they still have a lot to prove, there's no doubt - in terms of our attacking players they are the players with the greatest potential and the players that can help us really improve as a team and give us a cutting edge in our play.

“Sometimes when young players are having a difficult time, to have the capacity and stand up and score two goals in an international game can really help your confidence and I am hoping that will really remind him of his talent and remind him he is a quality player and he is capable of scoring goals.

"That's why our job is to nurture the talent and maximise it and get players to achieve their potential and he's one we want to see do that.”

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