Ireland have 'huge determinati...


Ireland have 'huge determination' to get elusive win | Kenny

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Stephen Kenny has hailed the 'excellent' spirit and attitude in the Republic of Ireland squad. 

The manager was speaking as he attempts to oversee a first competitive win against Azerbaijan on Saturday.

The Boys in Green go to Baku for the World Cup qualifier without a win in Group A.

The two sides played out a 1-all draw in Dublin last month.

"We want to try and win the game," Kenny said at a press conference today.

"We want to go and put in a strong performance and get the victory we deserve. We do have a huge determination to get that.

"We have taken the lead in our other two away games against Serbia and Portugal so ideally we would do that and go on to win the game."

Kenny says that he is 'not above criticism', but is hopeful his side can get the three points this weekend ahead of a friendly against Qatar three days later.

"I can't dwell on the negative aspect of what happens if we don't win, I think we just have to focus on trying to win the game and I think that's clearly our objective,"

"The players' attitude is excellent, the spirit is excellent, but we just got to turn that into wins, we realise that,

"We've trained well but we've got to bring that into the game on Saturday and try and get that win."

Reflecting on September's encounter - when Ireland required a late Shane Duffy equaliser - Kenny says they have learned lessons from aspects of the game.

"We need to improve on our first-half display, we came out of the blocks brilliantly first 15 minutes, created three good chances, we should have been ahead," he recalled.

"Azerbaijan retained possession really well in their own half for periods so we need to modify our pressing strategy around that and be better out of possession than we were for the second half of that first half.

"We weren't cohesive in terms of our out of possession strategy, we didn't get after Azerbaijan collectively in the way that we could have.

"Second half we increased the intensity of our play."

The former Dundalk boss also added that Will Keane could see some action.

The Wigan striker received his first international call-up last week.

"We'll have to see, he [Will Keane] certainly could be involved," Kenny explained.

"Whether we take him in and start him quickly like that, maybe not, but he is a very good player."

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