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Stephen Kenny hints at impact of Matt Doherty amid injury absence

Matt DOherty

Ireland have struggled without Matt Doherty.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has hinted at how Ireland have struggled in the absence of Matt Doherty, in the wake of the Boys in Green’s latest run of successive defeats.

Kenny’s side have lost back to back games against Armenia and Ukraine, with the latter being a dispiriting affair at the Aviva Stadium.

But in those two games Ireland have struggled in the absence of Doherty, with Seamus Coleman and Cyrus Christie failing to have a similar impact to the Spurs wing-back.

“Obviously, Matt Doherty at times has been a bit of a playmaker for us..”

And speaking after Wednesday’s loss to Ukraine, Kenny explained how Ireland have struggled in the absence of Doherty.

“Both teams pressed each other high and we were both playing the same system, 3-2-4-1, so it was man-to-man really,” he began. “Shane went long a lot, he saw space, and sometimes we got joy from it with Chieo one on one but we’re used to building.

“Obviously, Matt Doherty at times has been a bit of a playmaker for us, taking the ball against a low block and building through the midfield.

“We just have to show a little bit composure and build better than we did at times today. But I can’t fault the players, they gave absolutely everything of themselves.

“I asked them before the game, that 100 percent is not enough, you’ve got to extract every ounce of yourself in pursuit of trying to get the result that we needed and I thought the players gave absolutely everything of themselves and we just came out the right side of a very narrow game.”

Matt Doherty.

While Kenny can rue the absence of key men such as Doherty, he will be hoping to have him back for the September internationals in the Uefa Nations League.

matt doherty injury

Ireland still have games left in this group this month however, with games against Scotland and Ukraine set to come.

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