Stephen Kenny responds to Roy Keane's criticism of Ireland celebrations
"I have no problem with Roy Keane, really."
Stephen Kenny has responded to Roy Keane's criticism of the Republic of Ireland's celebrations after beating Lithuania 1-0 in a friendly last month.
The Boys in Green won the friendly game 1-0 thanks to a brilliant strike from Troy Parrott in the 97th minute. The goal sparked exuberant celebrations from Ireland fans, players and coaches at the Aviva Stadium.
However, Keane, who was Ireland's assistant manager between 2013 and 2018, took issue with the reaction to Parrott's strike. On ITV, he has said that the celebrations after beating the team ranked 137th in the world were 'way over the top.'
Roy Keane criticised Ireland celebrations after win over Lithania.
"It was an important win, better late than never, but they made hard work of it," the former Ireland captain said.
"I think the celebrations at the end are way over the top.
"But an important goal, even for Parrott, he’s a young player. His career has probably stalled a little bit. But they kept going, showed a bit of spirit and fight.
"You take that win. The feel-good factor, keep that going, a bit of momentum.
"Honestly, that’s way over the top (the celebrations). For managers, staff and players to react that way to a friendly win. Come on. Get over it."
Stephen Kenny responds to Roy Keane criticism.
Kenny was asked about Keane's comments, and said that he has no issue with the Corkman's comments. The Ireland manager said that he has 'not made much' of Keane's comments.
"To be fair, I don’t think that he has been too critical overall," Kenny said.
"I have no problem with Roy Keane, really. It’s just a comment and I have not made much of it."
Kenny also provided context for the celebrations after Parrott's goal, noting that the team had four goals ruled out for offside on the night before the striker scored.
“If any of the other four goals that we scored had been allowed we probably would not have celebrated like that," the Ireland manager said.
“So it was a culmination of one goal being disallowed, two, three, four. Then Troy’s goal was so good and to get it in the 97th minute."
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Kenny: We want to harness the energy of the crowd at Ireland games.
Kenny also said that he wants his Ireland side to feed off the reaction of the crowd at Ireland games, and celebrations like those against Lithuania show that some players in the team are now more 'appreciated' by fans than before.
"We want our players to feel the affection of the crowd. That's one thing that is important to us. We want them to feel that," he said.
"We did not always feel that all the players were appreciated or loved when I took over. We felt that some players were regarded more than others. Some players were revered and some players were not revered.
"That's only natural. But we have the feeling now that players who were not always revered are now feeling appreciated. The power and the energy from the crowd and their affection can be very strong and can have a positive effect."
Ireland's next matches are in the Uefa Nations League in June. Kenny's side play Armenia, Scotland and two games against Ukraine during a busy month for the national team.