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Ireland boss Stephen Kenny sidesteps Jose Mourinho question after sarcastic dig


Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was not interested in responding directly to Jose Mourinho’s comments.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny says “we all have to live with this situation at the moment” as he avoided responding directly to Jose Mourinho’s comments about Matt Doherty’s positive Covid-19 test.

Tottenham boss Mourinho aimed a dig at the international break on social media after Spurs defender Doherty tested positive following Ireland’s Nations League defeat by Wales on Sunday.

“Amazing week of football. Great emotions in the national team matches, superb friendlies and total safety,” the Tottenham Hotspur boss wrote sarcastically on Instagram.

Stephen Kenny

“Covid test results after matches been played, randomers running on the pitch while team sessions are taking place and much more. After another training session with only six players, it is now time to take care of myself.”

And while Mourinho sweats over which players he will have available for Spurs’ Premier League clash with Manchester City on Saturday, Kenny says his sympathies lie with the players.

“My sympathy would be to the players first of all,” said Kenny ahead of Wednesday’s Nations League encounter with Bulgaria.

Stephen Kenny

“Secondly, yes, it isn’t ideal for clubs, we must acknowledge that it’s not ideal at all, and it’s not ideal for international teams either.

“We all have to live with this situation at the moment.”

‘We’re building squad for World Cup qualifiers’ – Kenny

Kenny, who is still awaiting his first win at the Aviva Stadium helm after succeeding Mick McCarthy, is without 13 players as he prepares to welcome Bulgaria to Dublin.

With his squad severely depleted, he called up four players – Troy Parrott, Jack Taylor, Aaron McEneff and Graham Burke – for Wednesday’s game.

And while Kenny has accepted criticism of the results under his leadership, the former Dundalk boss says he remains hopeful things will soon turn around.

“Obviously tomorrow’s game is very important, and then we focus on the World Cup qualifiers in March,” added Kenny.

“By then, I think we’ll have a back four with players back like Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Enda Stevens and John Egan, we’ll have players like James McCarthy and Harry Arter available and attacking players like Aaron Connolly and Callum Robinson.

“So we will have players available and March and these players that are getting their opportunities will supplement that, and create competition for places.

“We’re led to believe there could be three qualifiers for the World Cup qualifying series in March and we’re building a squad of players towards that.”

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