There was a real hope that this could finally be the international window during which Ireland took the next step in their development under Stephen Kenny.
After a positive couple of weeks back in June, optimists thought that the time the team had on the training pitch together would yield results this month. After a good showing in Portugal, we certainly seemed to be on the right track.
However, the draw against Azerbaijan has brought us all crashing back down to earth.
While the manager himself has defended his record up to this point in his tenure, it is clear results have been a letdown. One former Ireland international is unsure how much longer we can defend such a run.
Speaking on RTÉ Soccer Podcast, Stephen Elliott said that while he appreciates what Stephen Kenny is attempting to do with the team, the results will have to start arriving soon.
Everybody was full of positives after the performance over in Faro in midweek and you’re going into the home game against Azerbaijan.
I know international teams are improving across Europe and across the world but I still think that with us at home, the crowd back in the ground, you expect us to go on and win that game.
I know we had a lot of possession and they scored at a horrible time, right with the last kick of the first half, but I was disappointed, if I’m honest...
It’s very disappointing drawing at home with Azerbaijan and I don’t know where we go from here.
Everybody wanted Stephen to come in and do well and he’s obviously trying to change the mindset of our national football squad. That’s great but we have to start getting results.
We can’t keep having these discussions over and over again, saying that if we get a result on Tuesday the mood will be lifted...
There comes a stage when you’ve to look at the last 15 games and one win against Andorra and a couple of draws, it’s bordering on embarrassing, results-wise.
For me, there are major questions out there about Stephen.
I was all for Stephen coming in and doing well, getting it down and playing football and that’s great if you have that new philosophy but that’s not the only thing about managing an international team. You have to be able to motivate these players, to make them go over the extra yard to win games.
I’m not sure that Stephen Kenny is getting that out of the squad.
Tomorrow's game against Serbia is the first opportunity to turn things around, although that looks like a very tough fixture considering where Ireland are currently at.
Either way, we will we want to see some uptick in result before the end of this campaign to vindicate the good work Stephen Kenny has done in developing the young players in this team.