Stephen Kenny He refused to get involved in a war of words with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp due to the murky nature of where Kawimhen Kelleher suffered the injury that ruled him out from the first part of the season.
Speaking in August, Klopp said; “Caoimhin Kelleher, I heard the Irish manager didn’t like it or wasn’t happy. For us, he was injured while he was with Ireland, so no one picked it up there and when he got here [for pre-season] He was still injured.”
Kelleher, who was second-placed on Liverpool’s first-choice list last season, started all of Ireland’s last four games in June due to the absence of the injured Gavin Pazono.
Kenny said: “With Caoimhin, if Caoimhin modified something in the match against Ukraine, it wasn’t clear with his performance. He did very well and did everything really well. I honestly wasn’t aware of his injury at the time.”
“This is clearly Dr. Alan Byrne’s last game. He has a good reputation for having been to 200 international players.
“They always have medical notes on every injury, extensive notes, and we don’t have medical notes on Kawimhen from that camp. There are no medical notes,” Kenny said.
“If he tweaked something, we weren’t aware of it. He played great in the game but he’s just one of those things. We’ll all move on.”
Michael Obafemi He is still in the team despite not being with Swansea since he was the subject of a late bid from fellow English Premier League teammate Burnley.
Obafemi scored his first international goal against Scotland last June and has one goal and one assist so far for his club this season, however Kenny is not concerned about his lack of final minutes with the club.
“It’s not that he’s been gone for so long. He only missed him last week.
“I prefer him to play, to be fit for the match. I thought his performance with Swansea at the end of last season and the beginning of this season was very good.
“We would have preferred not to have this situation. We would have preferred to come in good shape, good relationships and all that kind of stuff. Life sometimes presents these problems.”
Jason Knight played mostly for Ireland as a midfielder or number ten, but was used as a right-back for his club, Derby County in the Premier League.
Kenny said: “Jason is a versatile player.
“But it would be better for us if he plays at the top of the field.
“He’s made an impact internationally as an attacking midfielder. He has a lot of energy and creativity. His ability to press high, his ability to take the ball mid-turn, his ability to dribble.
“And I felt he was getting better for us. He had a good window last time, and he did very well as an attacking midfielder.
“That’s what we see as it. So we don’t want to discourage him by playing at right-back for a while, and that stifles his creative instincts or his ability to play as an attacking midfielder.
“I don’t think he sees his future at right-back and we really aren’t, but I understand the needs are in every club and every coach has to make the best decision for himself. I respect that.”
Knight became an integral part of Kenny’s plans, and despite excelling in the doomed English derby, the break away from Pride Park failed to materialize.
“There has been a lot of speculation and like everything else, you don’t really know unless you have a true inner path.
“He loves Derby as a club, he started young there and that was good for him. He has played quite a few games for a very small club.
“But we see him as someone who can influence the game as an attacking midfielder, we definitely see him that way.”
Knight is still with Pazono, Obafemi, Nathan Collins, Dara O’Shea, Jason Mulumbi, Troy Parrott, and Andrew Oumobamidel Eligible for Jim Crawford U21 Who will face Israel in the European Championship play-off next week.
Pazono and Collins are the only two Irish players to have appeared in the Premier League for a week.
Seamus Coleman (0), Matt Doherty (1) and Shane Duffy (2) have only had three league games between them.
“[It is] Not ideal again. “Three players are very experienced and they are very important to us,” Kenny said.
“They have consistently proven themselves over the years. [It is] It’s hard not to play and then step up when you haven’t played for a long time.”
The unenviable task of stopping Erling Haaland is next on Collins’ agenda as Wolves welcome Manchester City early in the kick-off on Saturday.
“Nathan has taken everything in his path, [it is] Impressive the way he did it. It’s a big challenge, of course, facing Manchester City and Haaland.
“It’s another step in his development. He’s played quite a few games for a very young person, playing at Stoke and Burnley. He seems to be a strong player in the Wolverhampton squad which is fantastic.
“For any of our Irish players to play regularly in the Premier League, ideally, that’s what we want. He’s shown the quality to do so. I’m sure he’ll enjoy the challenge.”
Ireland is set to travel to Glasgow for the UEFA Nations League match at Hampden Park, on Saturday, September 24, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Ireland will then return to Dublin to face Armenia in their final group game at Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, September 27, with kick-off at 7.45pm. Both games are live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.
Republic of Ireland squad – Scotland and Armenia
goalkeepers: Gavin Pazono (Southampton), Mark Travers (Bournemouth), Max O’Leary (Bristol City)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Fulham), John Egan (Sheffield United), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Andrew Umubamidelli (Norwich City), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), James McClain (Wigan Athletic), Robbie Brady (Preston North End).
Midfielders: Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jeff Hendrik (Reading), Jason Knight (Derby County), Alan Brown (Preston North End), Jason Mullombi (West Bromwich Albion), Conor Horihan (Derby County), Calum O’Oda (Cardiff City).
Attackers: Chidose Ogbeni (Rotherham United), Michael Obafemi (Swansea City), Troy Parrott (Preston North End), Callum Robinson (Cardiff City), Scott Hogan (Birmingham City).