Football

Stephen Kenny Had Slovakia On His Mind In First Two Games

Stephen Kenny Had Slovakia On His Mind In First Two Games

Stephen Kenny said he had an experimental mindset for his first two games in charge of Ireland with the Euro 2020 playoff game against Slovakia next month his priority.

"We wanted to win these games but for us there's a bigger picture and that's Slovakia," Kenny told Sky Sports after Sunday's 1-0 Nations League defeat to Finland. Ireland also drew 1-1 with Bulgaria on Thursday.

"We were a bit experimental in the games - that's evident. We want players to put their hand up and put themselves in the picture for Slovakia.

"We need to increase our attacking options. We wanted to do that and some players did quite well and that gives us real food for thought for the game next month."

Ireland conceded in the 63rd minute against Finland. At that point, Kenny thought Ireland were on top in the game.

"I thought in the first 15 - 20 minutes it took us a while to adjust to their 3-5-2 system. Darren [Randolph] had to make a very good save from Pukki early on," he said.

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"After that, I felt we finished the first half in the ascendancy and played quite well for a spell. In fact, we were on top in the game when we conceded. After that, Finland had a better spell.

"We rallied and had four or five really good chances. When you get them, you have to take them. We're disappointed to lose the game."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

See Also: Irish Player Ratings After Thoroughly Disappointing Finland Result

PJ Browne
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