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"You've got this dreamy notion Ger that Stephen Kenny is going to solve everything"

Former Irish international Gary Breen has rubbished calls for Stephen Kenny to replace Mick McCarthy as manager of the Republic of Ireland squad before the March playoff on Tuesday's OTB AM

On what amounted to a disappointing night for Ireland in their attempt to qualify for next year's European Championships, a 1-1 draw with Denmark has left hopes of qualification dangling on two playoff games in March.

Speaking to Off the Ball in the immediate aftermath of Monday night's game, Damien Delaney explained why he believed the FAI should accelerate their succession plan and bring Stephen Kenny in to replace McCarthy before those games are played in an interview you can watch here.

"I've gotten to know Damien well over the last few months," explained Gary Breen on Tuesday's OTB AM, "and that is a nonsense thing to say, to suddenly just give Kenny the job."

A committed defender of McCarthy and his positive impact on this Irish squad since taking over from Martin O'Neill last year, Breen, who played under McCarthy for both club and country, outlined his scepticism regarding Kenny's ability to quickly alter the team's playing style.

"Ger, can I ask you a question," he put to the show's host Ger Gilroy, "do you genuinely think there hasn't been an upturn [in form] from Martin O'Neill?

"Because I've heard you over a couple of weeks in the build-up to this game and you've got a really negative tone around Mick and I know you're probably wanting Stephen Kenny to come in and take over."

In a discussion that centred on Mick McCarthy's preferred playing style (or lack thereof), Gary Breen explained his understanding of what the Irish manager is trying to achieve; even if it is not clear to everyone watching.

"I know what [Ireland] are trying to achieve," he stated, "don't say 'we don't know', I know.

"I know exactly what the ambition is ... and that is taking up a squad that was on its knees, trying to give some confidence back and playing.

"Listen, it hasn't been smooth throughout but I can see exactly what they were trying to achieve last night and I would be going into the playoffs with confidence.

"I think you've got this dreamy notion Ger that as soon as Stephen Kenny comes in we're going to be expansive, playing through the thirds, peppering the goal.

"I hope that is true, but he doesn't have a CV to warrant thinking that with this group of players."

Pointing to Stephen Kenny's brief experience with the Ireland U21s and the longer-running example of his successful Dundalk side, Gilroy highlighted the Dubliner's preference for an attractive playing style.

Countering this with evidence of McCarthy's previous teams, most notably the Irish team that qualified for the 2002 World Cup and in which Breen and Cunningham played, Breen took umbrage with the hint of a suggestion that Roy Keane's presence was the sole differential.

"Oh, just Roy was it," noted an indignant Breen, "just Roy, ya.

"He was a world-class central-midfielder, no doubt about it, and of course it helps.

"If we had Roy now we might be passing more, and showing more ambition..."

For a full recap of yesterday's action, here

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Gary Breen Ger Gilroy Kenny Cunningham Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

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