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Tuesday 12 November 2019

Nothing fake about Kenny: Andrews

IMPRESSED: Keith Andrews and Stephen Kenny. Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Sportsfile
IMPRESSED: Keith Andrews and Stephen Kenny. Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Sportsfile

Former Ireland international Keith Andrews says he's been impressed with the working methods of Stephen Kenny from his time on Kenny's staff with the Irish U21 squad.

Kenny is currently in charge of the U21s with Andrews as his assistant, though of course the plan is for former Dundalk boss Kenny to take over from Mick McCarthy as senior team boss next year, after Ireland's interest in Euro 2020 is over.

Robbie Keane, one of McCarthy's assistants at senior level, raised eyebrows last month when he confirmed that his contract with the FAI was not tied to McCarthy and that Keane's deal extended beyond 2020, though Keane did not give detail on what role he would have in a Kenny-led senior set up.

Andrews is getting used to working with Kenny, the U21s enjoying some success at the Toulon tournament last month and he says he's been impressed.

"He's very unique. I didn't know Stephen but we get on very well," Andrews told the LOI Weekly podcast.

"He's got a very unique way. I've worked in football clubs as a member of staff and as a player under numerous managers and coaching staff and he's very unlike any of the others.

"There's no airs or graces, he is real. There's nothing fake about him in an industry that is rife with people that are fake.

"I wouldn't be getting involved if we were playing Jack Charlton-style football, but I have utter belief in these players. He has utter belief in them to try and get them to a level and prepare them as well as we can. But he an utter belief in how the game should be played.

"In terms of working with him it's constantly improving, with the backroom team, all the medical side.

"I wouldn't just go to be part of the furniture, so it's finding that balance on working with someone for the first time, he's very hands on, so it's about getting that balance. It's been absolutely brilliant."

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