Published: 13:04 | 15/10/19

Injury concerns for Kenny

Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny has a number of concerns ahead of this afternoon’s crucial European Championship qualifier against Iceland in Reykjavik.

Kenny will be without Troy Parrott who is suspended following his dismissal in the 0-0 draw against Italy last Thursday, while Jonathan Afolabi misses out through injury.

The former Dundalk coach will also be without striker Aaron Connolly who has been elevated to the senior squad.

The Republic of Ireland retained top spot in the group following the draw, four points ahead of Iceland who have a game in hand. Italy are a further two points back but have two games in hand.

Kenny feels that it is a good indication of how far the team have come that they feel they let two points get away in Tallaght last week even though they were up against one of the best sides in Europe.

"We've played one of the top two teams in Europe and we're disappointed not to win," he said afterwards.

"There wasn't a feeling of accomplishment having got the draw in the dressing room. It was sort of like, that was a couple of points that got away."

Iceland scored six against Armenia but were heavily beaten by Sweden on Saturday which, according to defender Conor Masterson, gives the squad some confidence heading into today’s match.

"We believe in ourselves and you see it by the way we're playing," he said.

"Against Sweden, we were the underdogs going into that game but we didn't think that. We believed in ourselves, went out there and showed everyone in this group what we can do."

Kenny is somewhat more cautious however, with Ireland set to play on an artificial surface.

"Iceland have had a really good start themselves,” he warned.

“We go there and play on Tuesday afternoon on an AstroTurf pitch. We've got to adapt to that and make sure we're ready.

"We've had a great start. It'll be a real tough test for us out there."

Image: INPHO

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