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Martin O’Neill says Stephen Kenny has ‘selective memory’ despite clear progress

O’Neill’s comments after Ireland's 2-1 defeat in Scotland on Saturday were generally positive.

Stephen Kenny and Martin O'Neill (right). Picture: Sportfile

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Former Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has accused current boss Stephen Kenny of displaying ‘selective memory’ in his analysis of his side’s performances.

O’Neill’s comments after Ireland's 2-1 defeat in Scotland on Saturday were generally positive, but as he suggested Kenny’s rebuilding process was showing signs of progress.

Yet he suggested the Ireland boss had a habit of glossing over his side’s poor displays to paint a more glossy picture.

"Stephen sometimes has a bit of a selective memory,” stated O’Neill on Premier Sports. “He does lose a couple of games and then goes back to (talk about) matches he got a result in.

"In the last couple of games, they have played pretty well. I though they played exceptionally well in Dublin (against Scotland). It was their best performance under Stephen and they followed that up with a good performance in Ukraine and they were excellent for good periods of the game in Scotland.

"What they have now is a little bit of pace up front and the goal keeper kicked the ball long almost every time.

"Overall, there is a vast improvement in the team since the early part of June.”

O’Neill’s positivity was backed up by Kenny in his press conference ahead of Tuesday’s game against Armenia in Dublin, where a defeat would condemn Ireland to relegation from the second tier of the UEFA Nations League.

"We are looking to constantly improve. We know there are areas we can improve, we are not naive to suggest that isn't the case," stated Kenny.

"We saw against Ukraine, on their day when they had everyone, how good they can be, and two good games against Scotland. We are constantly looking to improve.

"We can see the emergence of players and that's been critical for us as a nation, critical as for us as a team. You can see players that are only going to get better, that are on an upward curve in their careers and they will only improve when they get into the European Championship qualifiers from March to November next year.

"In a year's time they will be even better, you can see that and that's by design. The players themselves have done that. They have got themselves into the team by their performances at club level and with the international team."

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