Liam Brady on the Ireland omission that ‘had a big bearing on the result’

Liam Brady on Ireland

Liam Brady believes Stephen Kenny made a number of mistakes with his team selection for Ireland’s World Cup qualifying clash with Serbia.

The Republic of Ireland suffered a 3-2 defeat in Belgrade and while the style of play provided much optimism moving forward, Stephen Kenny’s selection has caused much debate.

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr criticised the decision to play three at the back on Wednesday and now Liam Brady has given his opinion on the performance.

Brady praised the way that Ireland often played out from the back but the Ireland legend had a number of concerns with the team Kenny picked.

Brady, who played for Ireland between 1974 and 1990, revealed that he’d have preferred to see Robbie Brady play in Jayson Molumby’s place and may have given the nod to Gavin Bazunu over Mark Travers.

The major issue Brady had with the selection, however, was at centre-half as he believes Ireland needed to have Shane Duffy on the pitch.

“Team selection, I’d be a little bit critical,” Brady told RTE’s Morning Ireland. “I think inexperience let us down badly – one with the goalkeeper. I think he had a bit of a bad game.

“Although Stephen Kenny didn’t have a great deal to select from but I’m just wondering whether Bazunu would have been the better choice. Young Travers looked nervous right from the start. (Dusan) Tadic nearly beat him at a corner kick when he was in a bad position.

“And I think the leaving of Duffy out of the team had a big bearing on the result. (Ciaran) Clark got done twice on headers. I don’t think Duffy would have lost those and we didn’t have any threat at corner kicks.

“We had six corner kicks and no Duffy in the team. So on Ireland’s style of play yes, on the team selection I’d be a little bit critical.”

Duffy has been short of game time for Celtic in recent weeks but Kenny backed the 29-year-old ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier.

It remains to be seen whether Duffy will be back in Ireland’s starting XI for Saturday’s hugely important clash with Luxembourg.

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