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Gary Breen | Damien Duff exit creates more questions than answers

Gary Breen joined Ger and Eoin on Monday's OTB AM to discuss Damien Duff's shock departure from t...

Gary Breen | Damien Duff exit...

Gary Breen | Damien Duff exit creates more questions than answers

Gary Breen joined Ger and Eoin on Monday's OTB AM to discuss Damien Duff's shock departure from the Republic of Ireland coaching team on Friday night.

The FAI confirmed that Damien Duff was leaving his role as an assistant to Stephen Kenny after less than a year in the role, but no reason was given for the Irish legend's departure.

It was reported yesterday that Duff's exit stems from his unhappiness with the FAI for their treatment of Stephen Kenny in the wake of their investigation into the motivational video played before their friendly versus England in November.

Breen - a former international teammate of Duff - says that Duff's departure has created further headaches for Kenny to deal with, but says he's confident it won't have a huge bearing on preparations for the World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in March.

"It does initially make you think it's another problem that Stephen Kenny has to del with and it's the least thing he needs right now, in what's been a difficult tenure so far, with so many problems that are out of his control.

"We know that Damien Duff's making a really good reputation for himself as a coach, but the reality is if you change coach now just before March it's not going to impact that much for the team, it genuinely isn't.

"That's coming from a player point of view, that's coming from a coaching point of view as well, because the template will be set by the manager. It will be interesting to see who comes in now to fill that void, but certainly when we look at that we don't have as many problems as say Serbia do - in terms of trying to find a manager for this game in March," he says.

Gary Breen on Damien Duff exit

Breen added that even if Duff's intentions were to support Kenny in the wake of the video investigation, he's unsure whether leaving the coaching team send out the right message.

However he also stressed that Kenny's main task has to be finding the source of the video leak, and making sure they no longer have any involvement in the team.

"I was thinking, whatever your (Duff's) issues are, you're walking away from the coach when the manager really needs you. I was fascinated to see what actually comes out from both of those guys in terms of the statement, because whether or not you are not happy with the FAI - I don't know - I'm not sure if that really adds up.

"It's still very early, it's still quite raw, whether or not that will come out, you know how it is in football, these stories and the truth does eventually come out. If there is someone pulling in a complete opposite direction, then they need to identify him. And they need to get him out of the equation, whoever that is, I've no idea," he says.

The next step for Kenny will be bringing in a replacement for Duff in his coaching team. Early reports suggest that John O'Shea is the main candidate having been involved with the under 21 side since last year.

Breen says that making sure Kenny gets the right person for the job is imperative.

"The good thing about John is that he's doing a lot of his coaching now behind the scenes which I think is important for a coach. It's very difficult if you go straight into the spotlight. He's another on who will work hard at his craft, I've no doubt about that. And another good, strong character.

"I genuinely believe he should just get the best man for the job now. In terms of the coaches he may well have had in the League of Ireland, and certainly over in Scotland, he may think that they're not at the level required, and that might be a bold statement to say that, but he's the one who is working day-in day-out with his coaches, and he'll know what is required in terms of coaching.

"If it is one of those LOI coaches, then brilliant," he added.

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Damien Duff FAI Gary Breen Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny