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'My methods will win respect', says Stephen

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Martin O'Neill is set for Forest job

Martin O'Neill is set for Forest job

Martin O'Neill is set for Forest job

Stephen Kenny insists that gaining the respect of the senior Ireland players once he takes over from Mick McCarthy in two years' time will not be an issue.

And the 47-year-old, who was yesterday unveiled by the FAI as their new U-21 boss but who will also succeed McCarty in the senior role in 2020, says he is keen to dispel the notion that it's not in the DNA of Irish football to play attractive football and it's his mission to get people excited by their team again.

Kenny is currently settling into his role as U-21 team coach, his next major date will be the draw in two weeks' time for the qualifiers for the 2021 European Championships.

It's part of the bizarre nature of this McCarthy/Kenny arrangement that Kenny will be in charge of the U-21s for the start of their campaign, ideally next March, but will have moved on to the senior job for the rest of the group and also the finals, should they qualify.

Kenny insists he will take over from McCarthy in August 2020 no matter what happens and says he's not concerned with the theory that he has to win over, or gain the respect of senior players.

"It depends on your definition of respect. How do you define it? I don't have a hierarchy in terms of who I respect. The car park attendant or the person who makes the tea, at every club I'm at, I respect everybody the same way I respect the chairman," he said.

"I'd expect every player not just to respect me but to respect every single player and every single member of staff and show utmost respect for every member of staff. And every player should respect every other player.

"Respect is the wrong word. You're probably saying would they believe in my message or my methods. I think the way I set teams out, most players play the game because they love the game.

"If you play in a progressive attacking way, the vast majority buy into what you are doing. They want that. I don't think they would have any qualms about the way the team would be set up or the level of detail or the quality of the training sessions," he added.

It was Kenny who raised the issue of Irish football's DNA in his programme notes for a Dundalk game last season, those comments seen as a swipe at Martin O'Neill for his habit of putting down the Irish game and Irish players.

"It's not changing the DNA, but changing the way people think about the game, being encouraging," Kenny said.

"There is a silent majority, coaches of all levels of the game, kids' teams and people who just love watching good football matches. People want to come here, a packed stadium and really pass the ball well and really inspire them.

"There is a desire to see that. I'm in no way critical of previous regimes but that's how I see it," added Kenny.

"You just cannot stand still, you have to continually try to improve different aspects of what you do. I think this year I was better than I was last year. So next year I have to be better again."


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