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Keith Andrews was full of praise for Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny after the character he has shown to battle his way through a difficult start. Kenny failed to win a single game from his first ten games in charge which lead to criticism from different quarters. He backed his methods and has now gone 11 games with just one loss. The only blemish came against Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal side.

“He was very composed, always sticking to his principles. He very much had that belief in what the players are capable of achieving. Of course, we’d make little tweaks here and there, but he’s a very strong individual and I thought he dealt with it remarkably well because there were some not-very-nice days that we had to endure. You’ve got to take it on the chin,” Keith Andrews said about Stephen Kenny. “I say it to him quite often about when I go back into my local butcher’s, they’re quick to tell me about we should and shouldn’t be doing, and sometimes it’s not particularly pleasant. But during that process, he stood really firm. It would be very, very easy as the manager to maybe stake a step back, to sacrifice, maybe, some of your values, your principles for a short-term view, but he stood by it, and obviously I was in full support of that.”

“Football being football, it’s always results-dependent and you’re always beholden to the powers that be,” he added. “It’s not development football, we’re in big boys’ football here, that’s the nature of the business, that ultimately if results didn’t come, then decisions have to be made. As I said, we felt we were in a good place even though the results hadn’t been good, we were comfortable with what we were putting in place and the results did come.”

Also, Read Lyndon Dykes on ‘following heart’ for Scotland & mentality shift

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