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shameful Kevin Doyle and Stephen Elliott pass clinical verdict on Stephen Kenny after humiliating defeat

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Luc Holtz, Head Coach of Luxembourg walks on the picth as the big screen displays the score after the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg.  (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Luc Holtz, Head Coach of Luxembourg walks on the picth as the big screen displays the score after the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Luc Holtz, Head Coach of Luxembourg walks on the picth as the big screen displays the score after the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Former Ireland strikers Kevin Doyle and Stephen Elliott admitted Stephen Kenny has huge questions to answer after his Ireland team staggered to a humiliating 1-0 defeat against Luxembourg.

Ireland's hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup lie in tatters after a 1-0 win for the minnows of Luxembourg, with Doyle admitted they were the better side at the Aviva Stadium.

"I feel sorry for the players because I know how much they put into it and they all want to do well, but Luxembourg were the better side there and deserved the win," Doyle told RTE.

"We all want Stephen to do well and we have to give him time, but you have to take criticism as a manager and this is a massive setback.

"Whatever about building for the future, you need to be beating Luxembourg at home, it's as simple as that."

When asked whether Kenny should be sacked, Doyle urged time for reflect before a decision is made: "We need to calm down and think about what happens now, but everyone playing in our team is playing at a higher level than the Luxembourg team.

"The argument that we don't have the players goes out the window in that match. We are better than Luxembourg and we should beat them.

"What happens next with the manager is a decision someone else needs to make now.

"The players have to be ashamed of that. It's a horrible place to be when things go as badly as that.

"Now it's up to the manager to stand up and try and explain what has happened.

"It is more than just the manager, the players have been involved in one of the worst results in Irish football for a long time and they have to front up to that.

"We are looking to change the way we play, but this is a big step change and he has changed so much so quickly. It hasn't worked and the manager has to answer the questions now.

"The manager is in a really, really difficult situation and a lot of it is of his own making."

Former Ireland striker Stephen Elliott suggested Kenny has made a mistake to discard experienced players in favour of young and unproven stars.

"The manager has discarded a lot of proven players and it looks like an under-23 teams out there," said the former Sunderland striker.

"If we are honest, Luxembourg looked better on the ball and we just had nothing. I'm embarrassed by that performance and that result. It's not good enough, as simple as that.

"Stephen Kenny needs to step back and realise whatever he is doing right now is not working.

"Ten games in and we are miles off where I hoped we would be. Maybe he has to look at himself a little bit and realise there is more to international football than he thought.

"We have scored three goals in ten games and we have lost to Luxembourg at home. That is unbelievable. There have to be huge questions asked about Stephen's future. We have to say that now.

"I don't think we would have lost this game if Mick McCarthy was in charge of the team, put it that way. Maybe we do need to change the way we play and maybe there is a manager out there who can do that who has a little more experience.

"There have been some performances when we have had snippets of decent football, but we have just lost at home to Luxembourg.

"We all want Stephen to do well, but it is all about doing it in the here and now. The future is one thing, but we need to have results now. It's all about qualifying for tournaments, winning matches and we are not doing that."

Ireland defender Phil Babb joined the chorus of criticism for Kenny, as he admitted Kenny's position is now under threat.

"I don't want to get anyone the sack, but I'm struggling to find the positives here," Babb told Sky Sports. "A lot of journalists in Ireland have said these are growing pains for Ireland, but I'm not so sure. He has support from some in the media, but it's not working.

"I'm in shock to be honest. To be beaten by the 98th ranked team in the world was humiliating and I just don't see how the manager can defend that performance," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a very sad day for Irish football and it is hard to argue Luxembourg deserved to win that game. When you appreciate Ireland's best player was Gavin Bazunu, it highlights how bad a performance that was.

"The trouble for Ireland is, I don't see too many players who have missed this game that could have improved the team quickly and that is a major worry.

"To go ten games in charge and not win any of them is difficult for Stephen Kenny and I don't know where he can go from here."

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