Published: 23:03 | 6/9/19

Kenny hails Ireland U21s game management


Ireland Under-21 manager Stephen Kenny praised his side's game management following Friday's 1-0 Euro Under-21 Qualifier Group 1 win over Armenia in Dublin on Friday night.

17-year-old Tottenham forward Troy Parrott scored the only goal of the game at Tallaght Stadium on 31 minutes, tapping in from close range following a buccaneering run and cross from Brighton forward Aaron Connolly.

"The players are not ecstatic at the moment," Kenny told eir sport.

"I think they are disappointed at only winning 1-0 but they shouldn't be.

"It's a Euro qualifier, and every game is tough to win. I think we missed some chances that would have made the game more comfortable for us.

"After getting the first goal, we missed several chances to get the second, and had we got a second, we might well have got a third.

"But because 1-0 is such a tight margin, the game was always in the balance, and that creates an edginess, but I thought we managed the game very well.

"The back four were very composed and defended well, and used the ball really well.

"We had a lot of attacks but couldn't convert the chances we created, but I thought the players did very well overall."

Ireland, who top Group 1 with six points from their opening two matches against Luxembourg and Armenia, next face second seeds Sweden in Kalmar on Tuesday.

"It will be a different game in Sweden, a tougher game for the players, and we will have to recover quickly.

"Sweden haven't had a game this week, and have had a full week to prepare.

"This is their first game, and we are on six points. Our objective is to be nine points clear of Sweden on Tuesday.

"They are the second seeds, they are strongly fancied and have beaten Scotland, Norway and Finland recently.

"They are a good team, and we will have to raise our levels of performance again from tonight to get a result." 

Photo Inpho/Tommy Dickson

By Nick Royle

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