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09 Aug 2022

'False impression of where you are' - Armenia loss was a 'big setback' says former Ireland boss

'False impression of where you are' -  Armenia loss was a 'big setback' says former Ireland boss

Former Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has questioned what is next for the national team and manager Stephen Kenny after a poor start to the UEFA Nations League campaign. PIC: Sportsfile

Former Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has questioned what is next for the national team and manager Stephen Kenny after a poor start to the UEFA Nations League campaign.

O'Neill, who was Ireland manager from 2013 to 2018 and guided the Boys in Green to EURO 2016, was replaced by Mick McCarthy before Kenny was given the role in 2020.

The ex-Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland manager said: “The Armenia game was a big, big setback,” in an interview with the Scottish edition of The Times.

O'Neill added: “Sometimes you get a couple of (positive) results in matches against sides who are not in the top 80 - teams like Andorra and Lithuania. You can start to get a false impression of where you are.

“Then you travel to Armenia fully expecting to win and get off to a bad start; it’s a major setback for them. I suppose a couple of years into Stephen’s (Kenny) reign, you’d have to ask (where things are going).

“If his remit was to rebuild an Irish side and get time to do that then that’s fine. But in international football you still have to win football matches.”

After defeats to both Armenia (A) and Ukraine (H), Ireland will conclude their June UEFA Nations League fixtures with a home game against Scotland on Saturday, June 11 before they travel to Lodz, Poland to face Ukraine on Tuesday, June 14.

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