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Damien Delaney Delivers Stephen Kenny Ireland Ultimatum Ahead Of September Games

Damien Delaney Delivers Stephen Kenny Ireland Ultimatum Ahead Of September Games
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Next week is likely to be a defining one in Stephen Kenny's tenure as Ireland manager. It has been suggested that a victory will be needed in one of their two fixtures if he is to remain in his position for the remainder of the campaign.

Of course, that will be no easy task. The trip to Paris to take on France will be very difficult, while the visit of the Netherlands to Dublin three days later is an equally daunting prospect.

A resolute defensive performance against the French in the Aviva back in March aside, Ireland have shown little in this campaign to suggest that they will be able to get that all important win over the coming days.

If they fail to do so, will it be the end of Stephen Kenny's time as Ireland manager?

Damien Delaney delivers Stephen Kenny Ireland ultimatum


Stephen Kenny did plenty of things right early in his tenure, with patience granted as he sought to blood a number of young players in the squad. However, it is fair to now expect results to improve as a result of those endeavours, something that has not been the case up to this point.

Damien Delaney has been frank in his views of the Kenny era up to this point, often criticising him for the team's relative lack of results on the pitch.

Speaking on Premier Sports, he said that Ireland need to win one of their upcoming games in order for the ex-Dundalk boss to keep his job.


He has to (get a win), otherwise we're out of another qualifying campaign. This is his third or fourth when you factor in the Nations League. We were out of all of them after one or two games.

He has to beat one of these teams. Greece are playing Gibraltar and the Netherlands and they're already ahead of us, you'd imagine for us not to be dead and buried and battling with Gibraltar for the wooden spoon.

If we're out of it again, how long do we keep going down this road? He has had enough goes at it now that he has to get a win to get us into contention. I'm not saying we need to qualify from this group, but if we could get to the latter stages of it being in contention without the potential of finishing bottom, that's what we're looking for, progress...

It's going to be difficult, France will be very difficult. Dublin on Sunday night against the Netherlands, the roof has to come off and we have to get a win.

Two defeats against France and the Netherlands could well be the final nail in the Stephen Kenny coffin, although it remains to be seen if the FAI would be willing to dismiss him before the end of the campaign.

Regardless of results over the rest of the group, there is a good chance that Ireland will reach a Euro 2024 play-off via their position in the Nations League last year.


The question now is whether the Association feels that their chances of qualifying via this would be improved if a different manager were in charge of the team.

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