FAI chairman Roy Barrett gives his backing to Ireland boss Stephen Kenny
‘Last night was a setback on what is a difficult journey, but it is a setback’
Ireland manager Stephen Kenny dejected at the end of the World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg on Saturday night. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
The performance of the Irish team and its manager will be reviewed as it always is when the current international window is completed according to the chairman of the association’s board but Roy Barrett remains supportive of Stephen Kenny and insists that the 49-year-old is secure in his job despite Saturday’s World Cup defeat by Luxembourg.
“It was a disappointing result and a disappointing performance, Stephen has said that and Séamus [Coleman] has said that,” said Barrett, who was speaking after an EGM held to vote through the latest batch of governance reviews at the organisation.
“In terms of where we are at, the usual and normal process is through every window, the performance of the team and how the camp operated is reviewed. That is what will happen this time around. It was a disappointing result but we support them fully going into an important game for the team on Tuesday.”
Despite some unrest among a section of the team’s supporters being evident on social media over the weekend after what is now 10 games without a win for the manager, Barrett was pretty unequivocal about his support for Kenny and the sense he has that the wider board, which is to due to convene for a previously scheduled meeting on Monday, remains understanding of the scale of the challenge the Dubliner is having to deal with as he changes the team’s style of play and brings in a very significant number of new young new players.
“The only thing he [Kenny] should be worrying about now is Qatar and the match on Tuesday. That’s where the focus is at. The end of the campaign is a good while away. Yesterday was disappointing compared to Wednesday in terms of the performance of the team and how everything went.
“I can only speak personally; as a board we haven’t had the time or the need to talk about it, but I have a lot of confidence and respect in Stephen and his team in what they are trying to achieve.
“Last night was a setback on what is a difficult journey, but it is a setback. That’s what it is, but that’s all it is. I have healthy respect for what they are trying to achieve and how they are going about it. My position hasn’t changed on that just because of one result last night.”