Stephen Kenny not interested in talk of Rice or Grealish

Enda Stevens has been ruled out of upcoming three matches, starting with England

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny doesn’t want to dwell on Declan Rice or Jack Grealish ahead of friendly against England. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny doesn’t want to dwell on Declan Rice or Jack Grealish ahead of friendly against England. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Enda Stevens has been ruled out of Thursday’s friendly international between England and the Republic of Ireland at Wembley as well as the subsequent Nations League matches against Wales and Bulgaria.

The Sheffield United defender picked up a slight knee injury while playing for his club on Saturday evening against Chelsea and though Stephen Kenny on Sunday afternoon did not seem to feel that the problem was necessarily a major one, he said that it would have to be assessed before any decision was made regarding the player’s availability over the coming week or so.

On Sunday night the FAI released a press release to confirm that Stevens is out of the squad and will be replaced by Cyrus Christie.

“Enda picked up a slight knock on the knee last night,” said Kenny on Sunday afternoon. “He’s just arriving now but he seems quite sore and we will have to see how he is.”

The Ireland manager was anxiously checking in on games across England to see who was playing and how they got on and acknowledged that the way the matches scheduled now over the course of a weekend is a concern because of the number of players who can now be involved on a Sunday.

“It does mean that your preparation time is limited to one or two days really but I wouldn’t complain about it,” he said, “we just have to look to get our work done in the time available.”

Asked about the prospect of coming up against Declan Rice and Jack Grealish, two players who previously represented Ireland before accepting call-ups from England, Kenny said he prefers to concentrate on the players who he does have available.

“Obviously both of them are very good players,” he said. “But I’m very happy with the players that we have. We have a lot of talent coming through.

“We are not far away from being a very good side. We can’t dwell on it. We have to look forward at the players that we have coming through. We have been experimenting. We gave young players games at the start of this campaign and some of showed that they have the ability to play at this level.

“That will stand to us in the World Cup qualifiers in March. There would have been no point in trying to blood them then.”

The Dubliner said that he is sorry that there won’t be a crowd at Wembley for the game this week but insisted that it and the Nations League matches against Wales and Bulgaria will still be an important games and memorable days.

“You dream of having your family going to these special international games and occasions but these are three great games for us and we are looking forward to being involved in them.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.