Stephen Kenny is planning a grueling four-game streak for June by promoting rookies out of the Championship like unsaved pair Danny McNamara (Millwall) and CJ Hamilton (Blackpool) after key players were injured, but Kenny has no plans to reverse the old form Turn your back on the guard.
While James McClean and Matt Doherty are likely to miss June’s Nations League games through injury, the Ireland manager praised the resilience of Doherty and Séamus Coleman, who have weathered difficult club situations.
Coleman has been quizzed and dropped by his club at times this season, while Doherty, who is seeing a specialist in London today to assess a knee injury that should see him miss the rest of the season, has no future at Spurs appeared months ago, only to win over a previously skeptical Antonio Conte with a series of impressive performances.
“I thought Séamus was actually in really good shape when Frank Lampard first came on and then just to have a bad game that was on live TV he obviously got a lot of criticism and people then believed he had been like that since Eight weeks he hadn’t been playing, he had actually played very well up to that point,” says Kenny, referring to Everton’s 5-0 thumping against Tottenham when Coleman was heavily criticized by TV pundit Jamie Carragher .
“So he’s been criticized but the problem with Séamus isn’t that he’s not up to par. He’s on the level, just sometimes he gets himself out there, when he’s not 100pc puts the team first, and he’s not one to speak up, it’s ‘if you want me out there and the physio says ‘I’m right I’ll play’ so he came back very quickly from injury and probably when he wasn’t right. And I’ve seen him in a couple of games when he knew he wasn’t right. He’s so selfless.”
With Shane Duffy currently sidelined through injury, McClean potentially out for the season, Andrew Omobamidele out until next season and Dara O’Shea out of the picture at West Brom, Kenny needs defensive options which is why Millwall full-back McNamara is being reviewed as a name as well New signing, Blackpool’s London-born but Waterford-raised winger Hamilton.
“There were question marks about Matt (Doherty). I didn’t share the reservations, a lot of people had reservations about Matt, but I didn’t. He’s a real quality player,” says Kenny. “He showed a bit of character. One or two managers, he wasn’t part of the plans, they spent a lot of money, a big fee for Emerson Royal. Apart from him, they have a lot of options there. He’s done well to stay and he’s an important option for us. But we lost him when we lost him, and that’s how it is. We can’t go into that. It’s part of the situation. Now others have to follow suit. We just have to manage and see that.”
Stephen Kenny spoke at a media event at The Showgrounds in Sligo to promote the LOI Show on LOITV. The LOI Show airs weekly for free on
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/international-soccer/but-weve-lost-him-if-weve-lost-him-and-thats-the-way-it-is-stephen-kenny-praise-for-injured-matt-doherty-41544071.html “But we’ve lost him when we’ve lost him, and that’s the way it is.” – Stephen Kenny praises the injured Matt Doherty