Stephen Kenny backs Ireland to cope with the loss of key players to France

Evan Ferguson’s withdrawal through injury means that of the four forwards in his squad only two have scored at international A level and the number of missing attacking players now rises to five, with Callum Robinson, Michael Obafemi, Troy Parrott and Mikey Johnston also missing .

Kenny was told he was unlucky – Séamus Coleman is injured and Matt Doherty is suspended – but he refused to seek sympathy, saying issues like the loss of Ferguson were a motivating factor for his team, Kenny added Explains why Andrew Omobamidele, recently called up to the squad, missed training due to a family bereavement but has nevertheless traveled to Paris, as has substitute captain John Egan, who is hoping to recover from his knee and ankle injuries.

“I don’t see it that way,” Kenny said when asked about a losing streak.

“I am very privileged to have the great privilege of leading Ireland. In terms of the missing offensive players, we are missing five players.

“But because we’ve made 18 players debut in that two-year period the squad depth has increased and we still have a strong side and I’m with the squad we have for tomorrow and the opportunities we have have, very satisfied.” have.

“It’s an unusual situation that so many players are injured, some even long-term. But I’m looking forward to the game, we know not many people will give us a chance and I understand why, but we’ll give ourselves every opportunity to perform.”

France got off to a perfect start in qualifying, but recent World Cup history has shown Kenny that this clash – away against France – is football’s toughest nut to crack.

“I would say that, I would say that’s most likely the case,” said Kenny when asked if France was the biggest challenge of his Ireland career.

Evan Ferguson in profile

“France were at the last World Cup and won the World Cup [2018] and then lost on penalties last year. So they’re definitely among the top two teams in the world, if not the best.

“Obviously we respect their talent, coming into their backyard, their home arena and playing against them is a big challenge. We know it’s difficult, but we’re also very happy about it.”

“It’s also an opportunity for us. We knew we were going to get the most difficult group, but I have every confidence in the players, they showed their quality in the game against France in Dublin, which was a very even affair.”

“It was pretty even overall, France certainly had more possession than us, but it was pretty even in terms of chances.”

“It’s different coming to France, coming to Paris, we understand that, we’re missing some players but that increases our motivation, we know we’re dealing with it but that increases motivation, a strong performance to show.” “

With both Coleman and Doherty absent, Kenny faces a dilemma over the right-back position. He has the options of putting rookie international Festy Ebosele in the starting XI, or moving either Jason Knight or Alan Browne from midfield to full-back, or even pulling Dara O’Shea out of central defence, which would bring Shane Duffy back into the team.

“That’s a strong consideration,” Kenny said when asking a recognized centre-back to step in. “There are a few players in the running who can possibly play there. We’ll have to wait and see.” Stephen Kenny backs Ireland to cope with the loss of key players to France

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