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KENNY CHAT 'You should be embarrassed if you lose 3-0' - Stephen Kenny reacts to Matt Doherty's comments

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11 November 2020; Manager Stephen Kenny during a Republic of Ireland training session at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

11 November 2020; Manager Stephen Kenny during a Republic of Ireland training session at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

11 November 2020; Manager Stephen Kenny during a Republic of Ireland training session at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny is not giving himself time to wallow in pity. 

He's taking his team to Cardiff for a Nations League match on Sunday determined to get that elusive first win while in charge of the nation's football fortunes.

Between coronavirus, injuries and cock-ups on planes, he has seen players drop out of his squads time and time again, with centre-backs Ciaran Clark and Darragh Lenihan and midfielder Jason Knight among the latest to be pressed into service in the green, along with Josh Cullen, Jack Byrne and Ryan Manning.

Kenny has no worries about the morale in the squad after last Thursday's thumping at Wembley, when Ireland lost 3-0 to England – a defeat about which full-back Matt Doherty said he was "embarrassed".

"I've no problem with that, you should be embarrassed if you lose 3-0," he said. "But playing for Ireland ought to be a highlight of a player's career. It's what they all dreamt of doing when they were young boys. Now they are here and giving of their best."

Kenny could spend his team bemoaning his luck with injuries and illnesses, but he doesn't. "We've got to get on with it, we've already had a team meeting to get ready for playing a very good Welsh side that we know well.

"We'll train at the match venue on Saturday evening and that's when the buzz of an international match starts to build – when you have that run out at the stadium the night before.

"It won't be much of a session as the lads who played on Thursday won't be doing much. But it's a chance to get back up on the horse and go again."

And the Irish boss is well aware that Ireland probably need a win and a draw from the matches against Wales and the one against Bulgaria on Wednesday to secure a second seeding at next month's World Cup draw.

Two wins would do even better. It's just the right team for the team to get something other than heartbreak from an international.

"Listen, there’s nothing wrong with the mentality of the players in the Irish squad, that’s for sure," Kenny added.

"We’ve a lot of key players missing from the squad, but nevertheless, the players that we have called up, they dream of representing their country as young boys, growing up, to play for Ireland is the ultimate ambition.

"We’ve 25 players in the squad now, all good players and we’re ready to play the two games against Wales and Bulgaria.

"Everyone that’s here has a massive desire to play for their country and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the mentality. Just because you were beaten by England in Wembley, there’s nothing wrong with the mentality of the players. They all give everything of themselves all the time."

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