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Slovakia boss checking out Kenny


Preparing: Pavel Hapal

Preparing: Pavel Hapal

UEFA via Getty Images

Preparing: Pavel Hapal

Slovakia's manager says he has already started doing his homework on new Ireland boss Stephen Kenny to prepare for a key clash between the two nations in the Euro 2020 playoff later this year.

And Pavel Hapal says he expects to see the same "aggression" from Ireland despite the changeover in management.

Mick McCarthy was due to face up to Hapal in Bratislava in March but that game was postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis, and since then Kenny has replaced McCarthy. Czech native Hapal is making plans for the game which is still without a fixed date.

"The new coach is a reality that we must prepare for. We will analyse his style of play, and we have some information about his work," Hapal told sport.aktuality.sk.

"We want to know as much as possible so we don't underestimate anything."

He says he expects the same attitude from the Irish side despite the presence of a new manager. "The character of the team will remain the same," Hapal said. "The formation and some players in the lineup may change so we must be prepared to respond.

"In general, Irish football is based on combativeness, aggression and physical play. This will definitely not change under the new coach. A tough opponent is waiting for us."

The Slovakia coach is not happy that the play-off take place at the same time as games in the Nations League, with the likelihood of international triple headers from September to November as UEFA try to fit the play-offs into an already busy schedule.

"The fact that play-off matches are to be played alongside the League of Nations is not, in my opinion, ideal.

"For us, the play-offs are absolutely key. We will play a match with Ireland first, and if we manage to advance to the final, it will take place later after two games of the Nations League.

"It's a bit unfortunate, but it needs to be accepted and we'll prepare responsibly."