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Stephen Kenny says the Republic of Ireland remains on course for success in the future

Republic of Ireland coach Stephen Kenny is confident his plans for future success remain on track despite a depressing start to the new Nations League campaign.

Back-to-back League B defeats to Armenia and Ukraine left Kenny challenging his players to win the group and extended their expectation of a victory in the competition to 12 games and more.

However, as he and his team tended to their injuries following Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Ukrainian Channel 2 in Dublin, Kenny remained defiant.

He said: “We are disappointed with the last two games. I think we’re building something really progressive.

The Republic of Ireland’s form under Stephen Kenny is not good (Niall Carson/PA)

“Statistically we don’t support that, I know that, but I think we’re building something really progressive and I think people can see that.

“We weren’t perfect today, we were OK and we played well in spells. People have seen a lot of progression in games over the last 12 games.

“Obviously we’ve introduced a lot of players who are improving. We’ve been missing a few players in this camp, but that’s part of it, you can’t use that as an excuse.

“But we have to dust ourselves off. We have no more points after these two games. We should have more board members, but we don’t. We just have to try and get a big win against Scotland on Saturday.

Kenny has spent much of his reign to date responding to criticism. He had to wait until his 12th game in charge to register a first victory, and that over Andorra minnows, and although Ireland went eight games unbeaten before Saturday’s 1-0 defeat in Armenia, the last two results took some of the shine. out of this race.

There were some admirable performances – they were unlucky enough to lose their World Cup qualification in Portugal in September last year as Cristiano Ronaldo busted the hosts out of jail and earned an honorable 2 draw -2 with a very different Belgian team in March.

Weeks earlier, Kenny had been rewarded with a widely acclaimed contract extension, although his team’s failures this week, and in particular the lack of creativity and cutting edge that hampered their efforts, fueled the fires. of his detractors.

However, when asked if the players still trust the coach, midfielder Jason Knight replied: “Yes, definitely. We don’t talk about it.

“The manager has been great with us. We had two disappointing results and we have to go back on Saturday and fix it. That’s all that matters.”