Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny defended Ireland's 1-0 defeat to the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday night by highlighting the previous poor results of his Irish predecessors.
Ireland lost their final game of their qualifying group, leaving them above only Gibraltar. The result means Kenny's time with Ireland is certain to end after the New Zealand friendly on Tuesday.
Kenny was asked about the Holland result in the pre-match press conference on Monday. He admitted the result wasn't what Ireland wanted, but he also pointed out that the result could have been worse, as was the case in previous battering's under other Ireland managers like Mick McCarthy, Steve Staunton, and Martin O'Neill. O'Neill's Ireland lost 4-1 to Wales in 2016, Staunton's Ireland lost 5-2 to Cyprus in 2006, while McCarthy's Ireland lost 3-2 to Macedonia in 1998.
Kenny wants people to add context to the defeat: "No question, Holland were the better team. We fought to the end of that game, we didn't create enough, we know that, and we defended for our lives when we needed to," said Kenny on Monday.
"It wasn't like we lost 4-1 to Wales or got hammered in Cyprus or Macedonia the other night. It was a tight game in Holland that we lost 1-0 and deserved to lose. It was one of those games; I think a bit of perspective on that..."
The Ireland boss's future will be reviewed by the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) within the next few weeks. The 52-year-old will accept whatever outcome comes from the role review and wishes any potential replacement the best, whoever it may be.
Stephen Kenny starts presser ahead of New Zealand game by looking for some perspective on reaction to Saturday. "It wasn't like we lost 4-1 to Wales or got hammered by Cyprus..." Macedonia also got a mention
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) November 20, 2023
"I sought clarification before this window regarding my own position, and if that wasn’t the case, I would have made that clear earlier in the week," Kenny added.
"But from my point of view, the decision is being made next week. If it is my last game, so be it. If there is a new manager to follow me in that regard, I’ll wish him well. If that is the case and they make that decision. Regardless of what decision is made and if there is a new manager to come in after me, I’ll wish them well, and I’ll wish the team well moving forward. I’ll always support Ireland, so from that point of view, that’s the way I view it."
Ireland plays New Zealand at 7:45pm. Fans in the Republic of Ireland will be able to watch the game on RTE2 from 7:30pm, but the game has not been picked up for TV coverage in the UK.
Fixtures - November
18/11 - Netherlands v Republic of Ireland, Amsterdam Arena, 7:45 pm (8:45 pm local time)
21/11 - Republic of Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, 7:45 pm