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Gary Breen wants the expectations for Stephen Kenny to be lowered

Encouraged by the potential Stephen Kenny has shown as he prepares to take over Ireland's senior squad, former Irish international Gary Breen is nevertheless cautious, as he explained to Off The Ball.

Without a true idea of when he will take charge of his first Ireland game, Stephen Kenny has a considerable amount of time in which he can ponder his plans.

The preordained successor to Mick McCarthy, although Saturday's appointment was sudden, the former Dundalk manager has known it would come, nevertheless.

Having rarely put a foot wrong in recent years between the management of his Dundalk side and his shorter role in charge of Ireland's U21s, Gary Breen, whilst speaking to Off The Ball, urged Ireland fans not to necessarily expect too much of Stephen Kenny too soon.

"People are putting a lot of faith in Stephen," he remarked of the widespread support Kenny's appointment has generated, "but he hasn't the CV to warrant that.

"Everyone keeps talking about Dundalk, but he has failed elsewhere. He has still a lot to prove so don't build him up so much and give him some time."

Stephen Kenny

Throughout a conversation in which he staunchly defended Mick McCarthy's contribution to the well-being of the senior squad throughout his second tenure in charge, Breen, who discussed a chance encounter he recently had with the new Ireland boss, is hopeful, nevertheless.

"The hope is that the players are able to step up," he noted, "or that Kenny's preferred style of play can be implemented into the senior squad now and they've got the capabilities to do that.

"I met Stephen Kenny for the first time just before Christmas and I spent about half-an-hour with him after just bumping into him. He was engaging, he sounded meticulous and I enjoyed the conversation."

After it was announced that Kenny would be bringing Keith Andrews with him from his U21s backroom team into the senior set-up, Breen revealed what he had learned from his conversations with the former Ireland midfielder.

"From watching his U21s team and talking to Keith who is my friend," began Breen, "he was telling me what they're trying to achieve, what they've done well and what they need to improve on.

"That was music to my ears in terms of preparing this squad and leaving no stone un-turned. It is exciting, I want to look forward and I'm hoping that he can live up to the billing."

You can revisit the debate between Gary Breen and Damien Delaney regarding Mick McCarthy's Ireland legacy here

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