Live

LIVE: Friday Night Racing

03:00 PM-04:00 PM

LIVE: Friday Night Racing
Advertisement
Soccer

Kenny praised 'intelligent' Robinson after securing his first competitive win

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny praised the efforts of his entire squad, particularly C...



Soccer

Kenny praised 'intelligent' Robinson after securing his first competitive win

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny praised the efforts of his entire squad, particularly Callum Robinson, after securing his first competitive win as national manager.

After 17 games in charge of Ireland, Stephen Kenny finally got his first competitive victory, beating Azerbaijan 3-0 in Baku as part of their FIFA World Cup Qualifier campaign.

It was Callum Robinson, who himself was under scrutiny from the media in the week leading up to the match due to his stance on vaccinations, that got the visitors into a 2-0 lead at the break with his brace of goals.

Although Azerbaijan controlled possession well throughout the match, Ireland would score again, this time through Chiedozie Ogbene, on the stroke of 90 minutes to secure the victory.

While it was still far from a perfect night for Ireland, as they still controlled far less of the possession than their opponents, Kenny was still pleased with how far his side has come since he took over.

Robinson Kenny

Speaking to the media after the match, Kenny expressed his delight not only in having Callum Robinson back on the pitch, but also seeing him scoring for his country.

"We have missed him when he has not been available," Kenny said. "He is a very versatile and very creative player; quite intelligent with the positions he takes up and the decisions he makes.

"It is ironic that he probably had three or four easier chances in the second half than the two he scored. The two he scored were absolutely outstanding finishes.

"The volley he had in the first half that just went over the bar was a brilliant technical effort. He was terrific for us today, there is no doubt about that."

Kenny believes that the victory on Saturday is proof that Ireland are continuing to improve, and develop a more intelligent and skilful playing style.

"From our point of view, the win was overdue," Kenny said. "To win 3-0 away from home in a qualifier is rare, and Azerbaijan have been dangerous opponents for many teams.

"For us to win 3-0 was terrific, and now that is just one defeat in the last seven games, and that was the late goal against Portugal with Ronaldo.

"So, I feel we are improving all the time."

The biggest issue that Kenny identified was that Ireland failed to control the possession stats, allowing Azerbaijan to create good periods of attack, albeit never really threatening Gavin Bazunu's goal.

"Azerbaijan had some good periods in the first half of possession, but they didn't really create any clear cut chances in that period," Kenny said.

"But Azerbaijan are very good at retaining possession, and they did cause us some problems in the first half. Obviously Robinson's two terrific goals gave us a great platform and the third one that he nearly scored as well.

"So, we had some good chances ourselves and I felt that we were dangerous all the time with our pace, and that is important for us.

"It is an important ingredient, and in the second half we were intelligent in how we played and created a lot of chances; we just couldn't get that third goal.

"Thankfully Chiedozie [Ogbene] scored that third goal which was very important to finish the game."

Ogbene Ireland Chiedozie Ogbene of Republic of Ireland heads to score his side's third goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Azerbaijan and Republic of Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

While he admitted that there was still a lot of room for improvement for his side, particularly around controlling possession, Kenny suggested that his side were deserved winners and that he was satisfied with his side's performance.

"If you would have asked us before the game about wining 3-0, we would have been more than satisfied," Kenny said. "We know that Azerbaijan pushed Portugal all the way earlier in the campaign.

"It was an own goal that gave Portugal a 1-0 win, and then against Serbia they scored a late goal here to win 2-1. So, we knew that there would be nothing easy here.

"We'd have to earn the victory, so of course we are satisfied with the victory."

Football on Off The Ball, brought to you by Sky. All the football you love in one place across Sky Sports, BT Sport & Premier Sports 

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OTB Sports's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Azerbaijan Callum Robinson Chiedozie Ogbene FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gavin Bazunu Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

LIVE: Friday Night Racing

LIVE: Friday Night Racing

03:00 PM-04:00 PM

Share

Up next

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

04:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:00 PM-08:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Friday Night Racing

Repeat: Friday Night Racing

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

Team 33

Team 33

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Weekend

LIVE: OTB Weekend

01:00 PM-01:30 PM

Share

LIVE: The Saturday Panel

LIVE: The Saturday Panel

01:30 PM-02:30 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Weekend

LIVE: OTB Weekend

02:30 PM-03:00 PM

Share

LIVE: OTB Football Saturday

LIVE: OTB Football Saturday

03:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on