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19th Jun 2023

Stephen Kenny calls out ‘absolutely terrible’ disrespect from journalist

Simon Kelly

Stephen Kenny

The Ireland manager is under serious pressure following his team’s defeat to Greece on Friday.

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was in a bullish mood in his press conference leading up to Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Gibraltar on Monday night.

Following the disappointment of Ireland’s defeat to Greece on Friday night and now sitting joint-bottom of the table, reports of Kenny’s successor being lined up are already circling.

In a tense atmosphere in FAI headquarters, the 51-year-old took issue with a journalist after he was asked how he felt he was performing as the Ireland manager.

“I’m not going to sit here and do a full press conference on an assessment of my period in charge or anything like that,” Kenny said.

“I’m here really to prepare for tomorrow, the game against Gibraltar. It’s a big game for us and I said to you I’m disappointed that we lost against Greece, but we’ve got to bounce back against Gibraltar.

“I’m fairly sure we can do that and we’ll take that into September.”

A journalist asked Kenny if he still believes in the Ireland players, before describing his record of 12 defeats in 23 competitive games as ‘shambolic.’

This prompted the FAI media officer to ask him to be ‘respectful’ with his question.

“It’s about time we had a bit of respect from you, to be honest,” Kenny said.

“The lack of respect at times at press conferences shouldn’t be tolerated, do you know what I mean? It’s absolutely terrible at times.”

At this point, James McClean, who is set to win his 100th cap, stepped in to ask the journalist what he thought of the players.

“Do you believe in the players, to take this country into major tournaments going forward?” the Wigan Athletic player asked.

“Do you believe as players we’re capable of doing that?” The journalist answered saying he felt the players were capable.

It was reported after the Greece match that FAI bosses were set to meet over the weekend to discuss Kenny’s future.

The news followed media and fan criticism towards Kenny and his management staff, with former Ireland defender Damien Delaney calling Kenny “out of his depth” on Virgin Media.

Brian Kerr, meanwhile, was heavily critical of Kenny’s performance.

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