Ken Early: Ireland a work in progress on and off the field
Two games into this triple header, Ireland have lost 12 players to Covid-19, close contacts and injury
Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick holds off the challenge of Wales’ Matthew Smith during the Uefa Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Stephen Kenny spent years dreaming of what he would do differently if he was Ireland manager. Now that he’s got the job, all he gets to do is fight fires.
Managing international football in 2020 is about spending the weeks between games absorbed in analysis and preparation, perfecting the game plan, imagining how it’s all going to come together. Then, on the day of the game, gathering together whichever players are still available once all the coronavirus positives and contacts have been ruled out, and telling them to go out there and give it a lash.