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“If Kenny was managing in the Premier League or the Championship he would have lost his job by now.”

Former Republic of Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson says manager Stephen Kenny can have no complaints if he is sacked following 11 games without a win.

Lawrenson was speaking in the aftermath of Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Qatar in Tuesday’s international friendly which followed successive World Cup qualifying defeats to Serbia and Luxembourg.

mark lawrenson paul mcgrath

Mark Lawrenson on Stephen Kenny.

The ex-Liverpool defender feels Kenny is lucky to still be in the job and if he was managing a club in England, he would have been sacked already.

“He’s probably at the moment thinking that he might get a phone call from the CEO saying, ‘You know, Stephen, thanks but no thanks we’re going to go in a different direction’, Lawrenson told Off The Ball.

“In all honesty, he could not complain after the lack of results that we’ve got.

“If Kenny was managing in the Premier League or the Championship he would have lost his job by now.

“It is a real cut-throat business. The problem is everybody likes him.

“He is obviously a very honest and decent man but I would say to you the next tranche of games will be the most important of his life.”


The FAI chairman Roy Barrett has already given his full backing to the former Dundalk manager saying he has “a lot of confidence” in what Kenny and his coaching staff are “trying to achieve”.

However, Lawrenson still thinks a change could be made as Ireland “cannot win” at the moment.

“If we do not do particularly well then I think the FAI would look to make a change,” the 63-year-old added.

stephen kenny

“The problem with Stephen is that we cannot win. As much as you feel sorry for him we just cannot win.

“I bet he is kept up all day and night thinking about ways in which he can change.

“He does not have to change wholesale. Just get the ball up the pitch quicker.”

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