Published: 11:36 | 12/5/20

Kenny needs time says Given

Republic of Ireland goalkeeping legend Shay Given says that fans need to give incoming boss Stephen Kenny time to make his mark with the national team.

The Donegal native, who is currently on the coaching staff at Derby County, was unhappy with the way Mick McCarthy’s exit was handled, but feels that Kenny will be a success in the role.

"I definitely think he can be successful and I am looking forward to seeing how he sets his teams up. He has said he wants to play football and that's exciting for me," he said.

"We have a lot of quality players in the Irish squad, players who look to play from the back, who look to get on the ball in dangerous areas and look to play under pressure and not launch it to look for a breaking ball with a bit of luck.

"There's a structure to Stephen Kenny's teams in how they play and that's quite refreshing, I do believe we have the quality of players who can do that.

"Stephen's teams like to play football, that's the way the game has moved on, we all need to get behind that; at times the crowd will have to be patient, the Irish fans have not been used to that over the years. Stephen knows he needs to get results, like any manager, people judge you on results, but he won't sway from how he wants to set up and play."

Given was critical of the way McCarthy’s exit was handled.

"I don't think it was great from day one, giving Mick a two-year contract and having the guy after him ready to step into the job, I don't think that was done right," he added.

"Say Mick qualified for the Euros and went to the semi-final as Wales did, had the freedom of Ireland, and then you go, 'Thanks Mick, see you later, Stephen Kenny, you are in'.

"I don't think from the start it was a good set-up. Mick should have been told, ‘here's a contract for two years or four years, see what you can do, if you do well we might extend it, if you don't then Stephen is waiting in the wings’ but it was strange from day one, that Stephen was waiting to take over. A new manager is coming in and you have to feel for Mick.

"He had to leave with Covid-19, the FAI were forced into a corner. I think Mick will feel hard done by as he wanted to go to the Euros, but they made the decision and we have to get behind Stephen, his staff and players and try to qualify.”

Image: INPHO

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