Football

Ex-Wales International Very Positive About Kenny's Ireland

Ex-Wales International Very Positive About Kenny's Ireland

Former Wales international Dave Edwards believes there have already been major improvements made by Ireland under Stephen Kenny.

In Kenny's fourth game in charge, Ireland drew 0-0 with Wales in the Nations League on Sunday. Ireland did so despite being with out numerous players due to various Covid-19 related circumstances.

"With everything that's gone on this week, I think Stephen Kenny will see loads of positives from today," Edwards, who won 43 caps for Wales, said on Sky Sports after the game.

"I look back to Ireland taking on Wales in the last Nations League and this team performed a lot better.

"I think they've got an identity now. I don't think they've always had that.

"Even with all the absentees, I still think Ireland were the better team. They created the better chances. They look a lot more creative than what they have done in recent years.

"If he can just get a bit of confidence and get some goals, that's all they are missing. They had three or four decent chances, especially Shane Long's."

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Ireland and Wales have met numerous times in recent years, giving former Wolves player Edwards a good perspective on how Ireland played under previous managers.

"Stephen Kenny's done a really good job in such a short space of time," Edwards continued.

"They're not winning games but they've kept that solidness which they had under Mick McCarthy and to a degree under Martin O'Neill.

"International football now, I don't think you can play the old British style of get it up and behind them and really try to press them in, it doesn't quite work.

"They've decided to go down a more modern route with expansive football playing through lines. I was really impressed, what they did better than Wales today was receiving the ball behind the opposition midfield.

"I thought Hendrick got into some really good pockets. There was some really good, free-flowing football with dummies, movement off the ball. There was a few occasions where they nearly got into good positions to score goals.

"I think Stephen Kenny will be quietly happy. I know there will be critics about another [game] not scoring goals. If he gets a fully-fit squad for the next round of games, it's something to build on."

In his post-match interview, Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey also acknowledged the change in how Ireland play.

"Ireland have changed their game a bit.," said Ramsey.

"They like to press a bit more now and they like to play with the ball. We had to adapt to that and at times we found it difficult.

PJ Browne
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