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Stephen Kenny: ‘You can see the potential, and I definitely feel that we can get better’

stephen kenny ireland azerbaijan

Stephen Kenny was in defiant mood after Ireland’s win v Azerbaijan.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny was in a defiant mood after he oversaw his first competitive win as manager of the Boys in Green against Azerbaijan.

While Ireland’s World Cup dreams are long gone, it was a positive showing from Kenny’s young guns who scored early on to ease their fears of another blank.

Coincidentally, it was Ireland’s first away qualifier win since March 2019 when they defeated Gibraltar, but Kenny was in a defiant mood as he batted away questions regarding his tenure as Ireland boss.

Stephen Kenny in defiant mood.

“I don’t care about that [speculation],” he told RTE after Saturday’s win in Baku. ”

“I know that we are creating a team here, a very exciting one. We’ve blooded a few players. It’s not going to work straight away. You can see the potential, and I think we can get better. We have to continue with our work.

“We’ve had a lot of good performances in the group, but we needed to win, of course. And we did. We’re pleased to win it and we’ll go again against Qatar midweek.

“Hopefully there’s a good crowd and I think that means we’ll have a full house for Portugal in November, and that would be special. We want that and hopefully we will get a good crowd for Qatar during the week.”

Chiedozie Ogbene.

One of the many bright sparks for Kenny and his Ireland side was the influence of Chiedozie Ogbene who impressed on his competitive debut for the Boys in Green.

Ogbene capped his fine performance off with a goal as Kenny praised his young attacking star.

“He’s such a positive character,” he added. “He had a few minutes with us during the summer but that’s the first real run he had and he was very dangerous on the counter-attack.

chiedozie ogbene ireland azerbaijan

“That’s what he gives you and he’s very powerful. We can’t say we worked on that corner he scored from. He’s not a target we’d be hitting but he’s taken it well.”

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