Stephen Kenny shuts down talk that Robbie Keane could return to Ireland’s coaching staff

Stephen Kenny Robbie Keane

Stephen Kenny has dismissed any suggestion that he could bring Robbie Keane back into the Irish coaching set-up in an effort to solve Ireland’s goalscoring problems.

At present, it has been 390 minutes since Ireland last scored an international goal – Shane Duffy’s header against Bulgaria – and in terms of the Nations League, only San Marino have scored fewer goals than Ireland over the two versions of the tournament.

However, despite the fact that Stephen Kenny is still searching for his first win in charge of the senior side, the nature of the performances have been encouraging and the players seem to be more comfortable in possession of the ball.

This being said, the stark reality is that Ireland won’t be at next summer’s European Championships and they’re in danger of slipping into Pot 3 for the upcoming World Cup draw too.

A few weeks ago, Keane’s former team-mate Richard Dunne suggested that the expertise and experience of Ireland’s record goalscorer could help solve these problems in attacking areas.

Of course, Robbie Keane was part of the Irish coaching setup under previous boss Mick McCarthy but after Stephen Kenny took over the main job, he decided not to include the former Spurs and Liverpool striker as part of his coaching staff.

Keane is still under contract to the FAI and in an interview with Off The Ball, Kenny was asked if he’d be interested in bringing back Robbie Keane into the coaching setup?

His answer wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the idea.

“Robbie Keane was a great striker for Ireland and he was important to Mick McCarthy for a couple of years as part of his (coaching team). Richard is entitled to his opinion. Richard and Robbie would be close. Richard is certainly entitled to his opinion. Richard has been a great player for Ireland also. Keith Andrews was my assistant with the U-21 team, he did a brilliant job and is a very innovative coach. Damien Duff has been exceptional on the training ground,” said Kenny.

When asked about Richard Dunne’s suggestion, Kenny was also confident that his team will start to hit the back of the net and said that “scoring goals has never been an issue for my teams.”

At present, Keane’s contractual situation with the FAI has yet to be resolved. Over the last few days, he has been linked with a managerial job at his old club, LA Galaxy, but there is no vacancy there at the moment.

As for Ireland, they’ve got a friendly against England at Wembley to look forward to before they resume their Nations League campaign against Wales and Bulgaria.

You can listen to Kenny’s interview below.

Clip via Off The Ball

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