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Stephen Kenny responds to Jason McAteer ‘pedigree’ claim

Stephen Kenny

Stephen Kenny has responded to Jason McAteer’s recent comments regarding his experience.

After naming his first Republic of Ireland squad on Monday morning, Stephen Kenny held a press conference and explained the logic behind some of his decisions.

Kenny also reacted to the questions raised last week by former Ireland international Jason McAteer, who felt that the dressing room might not have the required faith in the new Irish boss and his philosophy.

McAteer told Off The Ball: “When I think of Stephen’s appointment then, it is a pretty big ask from a guy who has only really managed League of Ireland teams and a team in Scotland.”

Jason McAteer on Stephen Kenny

He added: “To step up to an Irish team where he’s in a dressing room full of players who play at the top level though, players who have won things playing for top clubs, I think a manager who might not have a top pedigree, I think players might question that, yeah, I do.”

McAteer likened Kenny to Brian Kerr, who managed Ireland between 2003 and 2005 and whose tactics were branded “very basic” by McAteer.

Stephen Kenny Brian Kerr

Kenny dismissed McAteer’s comments and refused to be drawn into a war of words with the ex-Liverpool midfielder, who won 52 caps for Ireland.

Asked for a response to McAteer, Kenny said: “To be honest, I’m actually not offended that easily. I’m grand. Things like that don’t really bother me that much. I’m in it too long.

Stephen Kenny

“He was criticising Brian Kerr and Chris Hughton’s training sessions. I’ve great respect for both of them. But it’s not relevant.

“We’re in a high-performance, modern coaching environment now. Jason was a great player for Ireland, he did really well for them. I’ve no issue with him.”

Kenny will take charge of his first Ireland game next Thursday, when the Boys in Green travel to Sofia to face Bulgaria in the Uefa Nations League.

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