Former Republic of Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham joined Stephen Doyle to discuss the Republic of Ireland squad and Evan Ferguson.
Ferguson put in another stellar performance for Brighton this weekend after scoring two against Grimsby in an FA Cup quarter-final match.
Ferguson is the name on everyone’s lips, and many wonder if he will start against either Latvia or France.
Ferguson is the striker the Republic of Ireland have been crying out for as they have lacked some bite and venom in the final third. Yet Stephen Kenny has been reticent on whether Ferguson will start.
‘I can understand why he wouldn’t commit to saying that,’ said Cunningham. ‘He would not want to feed that information to the opposition manager. His performance today does not change anything in my perspective.’
‘I think he has to start.’
‘I think he deserves it.’
‘It is the right decision.’
‘You want to pick your most in-form striker to start a game against the French. There is an argument that he is relatively inexperienced at this level, but I do not think that is relevant. He leads the line for a Premier League club, and it looks like he has revelled in the responsibility.’
‘There is no reason to suggest it will be any different with an Ireland jersey on his back.’
Cunningham was then asked for his thoughts on the squad.
‘I thought it was fair, [Mikey] Johnson is an interesting one. Obviously, Stephen Kenny has looked at him in close quarters. It will be interesting to see what type of player he is.
‘I wasn’t overly surprised with the squad that was announced. Andy Lyons is an interesting omission. I saw that he scored two for Blackpool the other night. He could come into the reckoning because of the versatility he has. He is a very capable footballer.’
Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland will face off against Latvia on the 22nd of March in the Aviva Stadium.
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