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'I'll get one crack at this and I will look to change how Ireland plays'

One week following his appointment as manager of the Republic of Ireland, Stephen Kenny spoke to Off The Ball about the changes he intends to implement when it comes to the senior team's playing style. 

Taking the greatest care as he discussed his most recent predecessors with Off The Ball, the new Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was nevertheless firm in distinguishing his intentions from theirs.

"I'll only get one crack at this," he explained, "and I will look to change the way we play.

"I think there's been some really great managers that have preceded me with spectacular CVs and a great tradition in football. I have great respect for these guys, but I do think that there has been a focus on a more direct style of play, a focus on the more physical attributes that we have.

"It is important to me, and to a lot of people I think, that we have a vibrant Irish team passing the ball well with cohesion as they try to win games with an element of creativity.

"At various times over the last 10 years there has been a bit of a disconnect. There have been moments of success within that, but we haven't qualified for three of the last four tournaments."

Ireland Mick McCarthy with Stephen Kenny. Photo credit: Sportsfile

The manager of Ireland's U21s for the duration of Mick McCarthy's solitary campaign in charge of the seniors, the former Dundalk manager impressed greatly during his brief time in charge of the underage side.

At the moment professional football halted, they were sitting atop their European Championships qualifying group, ahead of the likes of Italy and Sweden.

"Talk is cheap and anyone can say anything," acknowledged Kenny of his plans, "but we've shown with the U21s this year for example a real creative spark in all of our games and in the goals we've scored.

"We were the fourth seeds in our group and we're winning that group. Obviously, the senior international team is a completely different level and that's the challenge to make a creative, attacking team that people can connect with."

While outlining the kind of team he wants Ireland to become, Stephen Kenny did dwell on style that was implemented by his most immediate predecessor, Mick McCarthy.

"I would obviously be looking for different things," he explained, "but that's not an implied criticism of Mick McCarthy.

"He has a tremendous career as a manager and I have great respect for that."

Praising the defensive solidity of Ireland under Mick McCarthy, you can watch back Stephen Kenny's full interview with Off The Ball here.

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Giovanni Trapattoni Martin O'Neill Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

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