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Stephen Kenny watch Ireland boss can be ruthless when that management quality is needed

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Ireland manager Stephen Kenny after his side's victory in the World Cup 2022 qualifier Azerbaijan

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny after his side's victory in the World Cup 2022 qualifier Azerbaijan

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny after his side's victory in the World Cup 2022 qualifier Azerbaijan

We learned something about Stephen Kenny in far-off Baku last night - he can be ruthless when that management quality is needed.

When your team is winning 2-0 away from home at half-time, a manager will not usually make a change.

But Kenny had no difficulty in hauling off Daryl Horgan, a player who had been with him at Dundalk, when things were not going well for him.

He had surrendered possession several times in the first half and was one of the few Irish players not heading for a seven or an eight in the ratings.

Kenny was not for leaving Horgan on any longer - not when a much needed competitive win was in sight for him and for Ireland.

Horgan was rather a surprise choice to start the match and Kenny showed no compunction in correcting his selection error.

It was a tough call, but one of the kind that wins a manager respect in the dressing-room.

It was a hard one, but the right one, and you suspect Stephen will profit from it in the long run.

Now the right thing for Kenny to do would be to start Daryl Horgan on Tuesday against Qatar, to give him a chance to prove he is better than the first half last night.

Horgan, and a few others, need a start with Ireland and Tuesday is the ideal

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