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kenny misery Mick McCarthy and John Aldridge give their verdicts as Ireland fire another blank

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Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy suggested the delivery of the final pass is as much of a concern as the lack of goals after Stephen Kenny's Ireland fired yet another blank in a 1-0 UEFA Nations League defeat against Finland in Helsinki.

Kenny took over as Ireland boss in April and has now overseen four games without seeing his ever-changing team scoring a goal, with his predecessor admitting the lack of goals will give the new man at the helm headaches ahead of next month's proposed round of international matches.

"It's tough for Stephen because the team are not creating a lot of chances," McCarthy told Sky Sports. "There has been some build-up play in the games we have seen over the last week, but the final pass isn't there and that's what is costing Ireland. Then when we have had the odd chance, the lads haven't quite managed to take them."

McCarthy went on to give credit to Finland keeper Lukas Hradecky, who denied Ronan Curtis a last gaps equaliser with a fine save that could have given Kenny a lift after a troubled international week.

"All credit to their keeper because he has had nothing to do for the whole game and he was there to pull-off a match winning save at the end," added McCarthy.

"It was a good little more from Ireland, great deliver in the box and Curtis has got a great contact on his header, but their keeper was there and it was a fine save."

Former Ireland striker John Aldridge joined McCarthy in suggesting a lack of goals is an issue that will continue to undermine the new management team.

"We are getting to the point where you have to keep clean sheets and hope that you can nick a goal at the other end," Aldridge stated. "That puts pressure on the defence as they knew we will be in trouble if we fall a goal behind as we will struggle to respond.

"It's a problem for Stephen Kenny. You can look at possession stats and say things are changing for the better, but you get nothing for winning a stats competition. We need to find a way to score goals and we have been saying that for five years and more with Ireland now."

Online Editors