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McClean rubbishes some reports claiming Kenny's job is under threat

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has rubbished reports in some newspapers that Stephen Ke...
Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15.51 6 Sep 2021


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McClean rubbishes some reports...

McClean rubbishes some reports claiming Kenny's job is under threat

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15.51 6 Sep 2021


Share this article


Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has rubbished reports in some newspapers that Stephen Kenny's job is on the line on Tuesday night.

The Irish international boss welcomes Serbia to the Aviva Stadium, hoping to add to the first point that his side won in Group A of the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan in Dublin on Saturday.

One report claims that Kenny's reign "could hinge" on the Serbia result with another report going as far as to suggest that his reign "could end" with a win for the visitors but that all came as news to the Wigan Athletic man.

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"Where is that coming from? Do people know inside information that we don’t? People like to speculate and everyone has an opinion. Funny enough the ones that have the bigger opinions have never kicked a ball in their life," said McClean.

"Unless that’s come from the FAI themselves, from headquarters, then I won’t pay any attention to that and I’m sure Stephen won’t either."

Kenny has overseen just one win in his fifteen matches in charge, in a friendly match in Andorra, while he has lost seven of his eleven competitive matches in charge.

It has been highlighted that a lot of Kenny's squad are not playing in top-flight clubs, if playing at all, while he is also trying to blood a lot of young, talented players but McClean refused to use that as an excuse.

"It’s always difficult when you’re not winning games," admitted McClean.

"I don’t want to use a cop-out and say it’s a transition period because I would say that’s easy to cling on to. We need to start winning games.

"You could say we have young players coming through and what not but we are here now and we need to stand up, every single one of us, and start being counted and that comes with winning games. We have another chance to do that on Tuesday. We have to start winning games, it is as simple as that."

And what of those younger players like Troy Parrott, Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly and Gavin Bazunu and their exposure to the intense pressure of playing senior international football?

In the absence of skipper Seamus Coleman, McClean is happy to give them some sage advice.

"Yeah, we just have to rally round them and tell them to pay no attention because, funny enough, the media in Ireland is just as bad, if not worse, as the media in England for kind of getting a kick out of us not doing well," said McClean.

"It’s a shame really but as senior players we have been around a long time so we know how it works so we just have to tell the young players that it is part and parcel of football and to pay no attention.

"People are fickle so start winning games and you are the best in the world again. We need to start winning games again and when we do the criticism goes away."


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