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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Michael Scully

Stephen Kenny believes Euro finals in Dublin too special for Ireland to miss out on

Stephen Kenny believes that the Euro finals next summer is too special to miss out on with Ireland on home ground.

But the Republic boss sees nothing to be scared of as his team prepare to negotiate a path through the play-offs.

Following two Nations League games in September, the Republic travel to Slovakia on October 8 for a place in the final play-off away to Northern Ireland or Bosnia on November 12.

“I actually don’t find it in the least bit daunting," declared Kenny, whose first game in charge is away to Bulgaria on September 3.

"I’m ready - more than ready. Certainly, it can’t come quickly enough.

“Most neutral observers would feel that Slovakia, having home advantage, would be favourites.

"To beat Slovakia and Bosnia or Northern Ireland, depending on how that goes, would be an extraordinary achievement.

Stephen Kenny (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

"The motivation is too great not to do that. We must believe we can achieve that - and I do.

"We'll give it absolutely everything. It's something that is too special to miss out on.

"We want them to have great experiences, like all the great players of the past have had playing for their country. We want to all be part of that.

"To have the Euros in Dublin is transformative to all our lives. This has never happened before.

"So not to be a part of it - I don't even want to consider that.

"To have that involvement would be very special for the country. There is too much on that.

"We have to win two matches back to back against significant nations - which we haven't done in many, many years.

"But we must do everything that we can to do it".

Kenny's excellent record as Ireland under-21 boss was achieved by getting his team to control games.

He wants the same to happen on the senior international stage - despite the lack of time at his disposal for his Nations League opener.

Still to meet his cross-channel based players in the flesh due to Covid-19 restrictions, the squad will have less than three days together in Dublin before travelling to Bulgaria.

“I'm looking forward to making a vibrant and exciting team, a cohesive team, with an attacking threat," said Kenny, who ruled out experimenting with tactics with the Slovakia game just five weeks later.

"I can't remember when we last went away from home and controlled a game. I'm not saying we'll achieve that, but it will be our ambition".

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