| 6.4°C Dublin

long-term future ‘Leave him at it’ – Ronnie Whelan calls for Stephen Kenny to get Ireland contract up to Euro 2024 campaign

Close

Manager Stephen Kenny during an Ireland training session at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Manager Stephen Kenny during an Ireland training session at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Manager Stephen Kenny during an Ireland training session at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former Ireland captain Ronnie Whelan says that Stephen Kenny should get a contract as far as the Euro 2024 campaign, no matter how his Republic of Ireland side fare in the remaining two World Cup qualifiers.

Kenny's contract ends in July, midway through the Nations League campaign but before the qualifiers start for Euro 2024, and it's expected the FAI will make a call on his long-term future once this international window is closed. Kenny's fate has been linked to the outcome of the remaining qualifiers against Portugal and Luxembourg but Whelan says it's time to extend Kenny's deal anyway.

"I like where it's going, give him a while, get other players in. We will find other players and hopefully it gets better and better," says Whelan.

"If we lose to Luxembourg I am not bothered. I hope they don't, I really do because I just want them to keep going on an upward curve that they are on at the minute. I want him to stay there. You cannot be thinking about going back to another foreigner such as Trapattoni - 'bring him in, he'd be great '. Give him [Kenny] his head and let him go with these kids and see if there are more coming through," added Whelan.

Close

Ronnie Whelan during his playing days with Ireland

Ronnie Whelan during his playing days with Ireland

Ronnie Whelan during his playing days with Ireland

"Give him the next Euros, that is where I would go. Let's see. We can go abroad and get another foreign manager and try that again. But we've tried it all before and basically we didn't get an awful lot of joy out of it although we got some joy out of it.

"There are a lot of people who are giving the view that 'it's not working, get him (Kenny) out. I cannot go along with that, having watched them play. The team that he's got now probably plays more football than Jack's team ever did.

"But results, at the end of the day, are not what you wanted up until recently. But then you see the young kids growing in stature, you see that they want to pass the ball although maybe, now and again, they pass it a little bit too much and more than we would like.

"I'd try to leave him in and get to a point where the players all trust him. At the moment it seems as if all the players do trust him and they want to go along with what he is saying, what he wants to do and how he wants to play football. They seem to be playing better football than a lot of Ireland teams I have seen before.

"Leave him at it. They’re playing good football. Yes, they’ll let themselves down, there’s a lot of young lads in there. Give him until the Euros and then see what Stephen can do. Hopefully they’ll leave him and we’ll get there."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy