Former Republic of Ireland international Johnny Giles has identified a mistake being made by new manager Stephen Kenny regarding Matt Doherty.
Matt Doherty has started both of Kenny’s games in charge of Ireland, with captain Seamus Coleman left out of the side, but Giles thinks that Kenny’s approach is unwise.
Doherty, who moved from Wolverhampton Wanderers to Tottenham Hotspur last month, tends to play as a wing-back for his club but is utilised differently by Kenny.
Johnny Giles believes that Coleman deserves to start for Ireland because Doherty’s strengths don’t lend themselves to the system that Kenny seems eager to employ.
“There’s been a lot of controversy about Coleman not playing with Doherty in his place,” Giles said on Eamon Dunphy’s The Stand podcast.
“I think he’s actually making a mistake there because Doherty, when he played for Wolves, was a wing-back.
“The wing-backs have the freedom to go and attack whenever they want, especially when it’s down the right side. When he’s played for Ireland in the last two matches, he’s not playing as a wing-back. He’s playing as a full-back.
“There’s a huge difference in it because you don’t have the freedom to go and look for goals as he did pretty well for Wolverhampton Wanderers than when you’re playing with the Irish team. You just can’t do it.
“That’s a big thing that has to be rectified. He either has to play as a full-back or Seamus Coleman has to come back into the team.
“My take is that Seamus Coleman should be playing. He is a full-back and he gets forward at the right time. Doherty is a very good player, doing what he did for Wolverhampton but he’s asked to do a totally different job for the Irish team.”