big decisions | 

Stephen Kenny says he has ‘no fear about dropping big names’, as he considers if Séamus Coleman and Shane Duffy have a role to play

Séamus Coleman during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE


Stephen Kenny says he has no fear about dropping big names as he considers if Séamus Coleman and Shane Duffy have a role to play in Saturday’s Nations League clash in Scotland.

Kenny dismissed any suggestion that he would have qualms about leaving the duo out, asserting that he’s paid to make those type of decisions if it comes to it. With Nathan Collins and John Egan likely to start in the back three, it’s expected that the last spot will come down to a choice between Duffy, Coleman and Dara O’Shea.

Coleman and Duffy haven’t started a league game this term for their clubs. The Dubliner has stressed the pair both have a big part to play for him going forward, but he was coy on where they currently stand.

“Would I be afraid of doing it? No. I wouldn’t be afraid of leaving anyone out really. I don’t think I’d be sitting here if that was the case,” said Kenny.

“You always have to make tough decisions. They’re two brilliant people in the group, (they have) both had tremendous careers. They are out of their teams at the moment but it’s only seven games into the season and I’m sure they’ll get opportunities to get back into the Everton and Fulham teams. They’ve been great servants for Ireland and still have a big part to play for us.”

Kenny admitted the loss of Andrew Omobamidele to injury was cushioned by the range of options in defence.

He said it would be difficult to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy to players who aren’t active for their club given that their individual situations can vary.

However, he conceded that some players suffered from a lack of match sharpness in the early stage of the June window.

Scotland play Ukraine tonight and the manager admitted victory for the table-topping Ukrainians would, on balance, be the best scenario from an Irish perspective as it would leave Ireland in control of their destiny as regards securing an important second-placed finish in the group.

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