Ireland striker Aaron Connolly has defended his manager Stephen Kenny following a dismal year
Brighton forward Aaron Connolly shared his opinion to mounting criticism of a leaked team meeting last month. The incident caused a stir when a complaint surrounding a ‘motivational video’ shown to the players ahead of a friendly match against England ended up in an English tabloid newspaper.
The 20-year-old missed the game through injury, but he has come out strongly in his manager’s defence after calls emerged from British public figures calling for Kenny’s sacking.
“It was nonsense, wasn’t it,” Connolly said.
“I’m not really sure why it came out in the first place. I think I saw James McClean wasn’t happy with it as well; I don’t think anyone was.
“It shouldn’t be coming out at all. The criticism the gaffer was getting, and people trying to get him sacked was just ridiculous.
“I know I definitely wasn’t happy with how it came out and I’m sure a lot of the squad was the same. There was nothing wrong with the video.”
The Irish national side ended this year on a historic low with three draws, five defeats and just a single goal scored over the course of those games.
World Cup qualifiers
But Connolly is confident that things will improve for the better once the gaffer has a healthy squad of players at his disposal. Ireland’s next game is against Serbia — their first World Cup qualifier.
“I think the drought will end first game in the World Cup qualifiers, no doubt about it,” he said.
“We’ve gone on a little run without goals and wins, but everyone in the squad has full support for the gaffer.
“The way we played; we’ve deserved wins. We haven’t scored or got those wins, but the luck will change, and I know for a fact it will in March.
“I don’t think you can judge a manager who was missing 13, 14 players on the last trip, through coronavirus and injury.”