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Stephen Kenny on the positives of Ireland’s win over Malta

Stephen Kenny Ireland Malta

They got the job done.

Stephen Kenny has discussed the positives he is taking into the Euro 2024 qualifiers, following Sunday night’s 1-0 win away to Malta.

It was not a game that will live long in the memories of even the most optimistic Irish football fan, but Kenny pointed to Malta’s decent home record as his side came away with the win.

Kenny also said that keeping a clean sheet was important, as Caoimhin Kelleher came in for Gavin Bazunu in the Ireland goal.

This is the last game of 2022 for Kenny’s Ireland, and the last before France are welcomed to the Aviva Stadium for the Euro 2024 qualifier.

Stephen Kenny on Ireland vs Malta

Speaking after the game, he said: “The expectation is that you should be beating Malta whether you play them at home or away. But every game away from home in international football is not easy. Malta have won five of their last eight at home, so they’ve done all right.

“I think for us, having lost 2-1 to Norway and Scotland, it was important to keep a clean sheet. So we’re pleased we did that.”

Kenny then named some players in particular who he was impressed with on the night.

Stephen Kenny Ireland Malta

Stephen Kenny on who impressed for Ireland vs Malta

“Jamie McGrath coming in and doing really well. It was an excellent performance for him, because he is in the wilderness with his club situation, it didn’t work out in England and he found himself not playing, so it was great for him to come back and do so well.

“Callum O’Dowda giving us that burst in the last half hour, and we would have liked his shot to go in, it was a brilliant run from him, and I think he would have deserved that for his performances over the two games.

“The back three, goalkeeper and Josh Cullen in front making sure we kept a clean sheet, which was a positive, and we didn’t concede many chances.”

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