The retired Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle joined Eoin Sheahan for a chat on OTBAM on Tuesday looking ahead to the Stephen Kenny era of Irish football.
Doyle is unsure whether he would have given the job to Kenny at this juncture, given the team is yet to qualify for the European Championships - he would have "kicked the can down the road for a year."
Many have observed that the big challenge for Kenny will be to implement his style on the team, Doyle reckons it will not take players long to adjust.
"It shouldn’t take too long if you get those few weeks at the end of a season," says the former Wolves hitman.
"That chance in the summer, you get them together for a good long spell, maybe you get them for ten days, two weeks. Working daily with the players a couple of sessions a day. Then he can get his point across."
Doyle says it will be pretty straightforward and familiar to many of the current Irish players, despite evidence of previous regimes.
"Most of the teams in England, most of the lads who are playing there, their managers and squads will play similar to the way Stephen wants them to play.
"Their club football won’t be a million miles away style-wise, so he should be able to get his point across pretty quickly."
While the style point has been repeated by several pundits, Doyle thinks the real challenge is time. As mentioned by David Meyler this week
, it is a pressurised situation Kenny finds himself in.
"It’s tough though, will he have that time?" questioned Doyle.
"We don’t know, but it looks like there will be a load of fixtures in a short space of time.
"He might not get to do too much with them on the training ground with them. It’s just another obstacle that he will have to overcome."
Doyle believes because Kenny has known he was coming into the job for a year and a half will help alleviate the time pressures.
"He knows the players, he’s been watching behind the scenes, he’s seen what’s going on and has an advantage in that respect.
"He knew he was getting the job, he’ll l have this homework done."
When the matches do finally come around following the Covid-19 pandemic, Doyle has urged everyone, fans and media alike to "take a deep breath."
"But when that week comes, we’ll be talking about him on radio or tv and we’ll take a deep breath before we talk and not rush to criticise him early on."
Doyle is also aware of the expectation some fans have of turning Ireland into Cruyff-era Holland, he warns that will not happen instantly or with these players.
"Because he will get bad results early on, it’s just the way it is. We have to give him a chance to build and work at it.
"It’s not easy and he doesn’t have the best players in the world. It’ll take time and him getting used to the whole scenario as well.
"All of us fans, whether you’re Mick fans or Stephen Kenny fans, give him a bit of breathing space when he gets in there."
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