Kevin Doyle criticises Stephen Kenny’s tactics following draw with Azerbaijan

Kevin Doyle Stephen Kenny

“I thought some of the changes were unnecessary.”

Kevin Doyle has criticised some of Stephen Kenny’s tactics following Saturday evening’s 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan.

The disappointing day at the Aviva Stadium saw defender Shane Duffy rescue a point for Ireland, after Emin Mahmudov fired the away side ahead just before half-time with a fine effort.

Kevin Doyle criticises Stephen Kenny’s tactics

Doyle took issue with some of Kenny’s decisions on Saturday, specifically some of the changes he made after such an impressive performance against Portugal.

He said: “I thought some of the changes were unnecessary. We’ve talked since he got the job about how he’s been forced into changes. Covid, players have been injured. Tonight he was forced into one change with Dara O’Shea, the others he brought on himself.

“I thought Seamus didn’t look himself. He was brilliant against Portugal as a right wing back, I thought it was unnecessary. We didn’t need to put him in with the three at the back. We could have left Matt (Doherty) where he felt really comfortable.

“I just thought we should have stuck more with what we did the other night… I thought Jamie McGrath was very good out in Portugal, he didn’t play tonight. I just thought it was an unnecessary change just as we had the chance to have a settled team for a few games.”

Adam Idah on draw with Azerbaijan

Idah was understandably slightly more generous to his manager than Doyle was, insisting that team was “unlucky” not to get all three points.

He said: “I thought we came out in the second half and we played very well, it was a top performance from everyone and we were so unlucky not to get another goal.

“I don’t think we deserved to get the draw, I think we deserved to win that game and it’s just very harsh and heart-breaking for all of us.

“I thought we played well, at times we need to be sharper in the final third and on my own behalf I think I need to be more clinical in and around the final third.”

Next up for Ireland is Serbia on Tuesday night at 7.45pm, where Stephen Kenny will hope to get his first win in a competitive game as Ireland manager.

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