Stephen Kenny slams criticism of Ireland's winless Nations League record
"It’s not fair to assess that campaign at all, completely unfair.”
Stephen Kenny addressed criticism about the Republic of Ireland's winless record at the Nations League since the competition began in 2018.
Ireland have played 10 games in the competition over two campaigns, where they drew five, lost five, and only scored two goals in the process.
Kenny addresses Ireland's winless run in the Nations League.
Kenny referenced the Wales match in 2020, where seven Irish players missed out due to one positive COVID test because of the close contact rule.
The 50-year-old said the "difficult circumstances" didn't help the results on the pitch as his staff and players were trying to adopt the pandemic measures.
“We had a situation where after coming back from a Euro play-off, we had to play Wales. We had a call late at night to say that five of the starting XI couldn’t play because they were close contacts. Two of the players on the plane couldn’t play," Kenny told reporters in Yerevan.
“We were one of the few countries at the time that were adopting those rules on close contacts, two metres, so for two windows we really had minus 10 players.
“In difficult circumstances, all of the games were either drawn or lost by a goal. The players acquitted themselves well at the time considering the circumstances. It’s not fair to assess that campaign at all, completely unfair.”
Kenny on Ireland's rich run of form.
Kenny highlighted Ireland's form of late, as they are currently on a seven-game unbeaten streak, whilst playing Belgium, Portugal, and Serbia during that period.
The former Dundalk boss described his players as "terrific," as they prepare to play four Nations League matches in 10 days.
“I know people want to criticise that period and people really went after us in that period, but I think we have shown over the last year that the players have played brilliantly," Kenny added.
“The Irish public really identify with this team now. It’s a new style of play, it’s a vibrant style of play, the players have been terrific.”
Kenny's side prepares for their opening Nations League match against Armenia on Saturday, with kick-off at 2:00 pm.
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