"This is the way forward" - Robinson wants Kenny for the long-term

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Callum Robinson has backed Stephen Kenny to remain Republic of Ireland manager beyond his current contract. 

The West Brom striker was speaking as Kenny and co ramp up their preparations for Saturday's World Cup qualifier away to Azerbaijan.

The manager - and the players - will hope the game in Baku brings that illusive first competitive victory.

Kenny's previously stated that he is building for the Euro 2024 qualifiers, even if his contract expires on July 31, 2022.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill has remained publicly non-commital regarding the manager's future, saying only they'd sit down after the World Cup qualifiers are complete.

Earlier this week, Matt Doherty have his full support to Kenny, telling Irish Football Fan TV, "For me, and I know I probably speak on behalf of a lot of the players also, we have full faith and full commitment and backing in what they are trying to do and we hope they are there for a long time because, like I said, we get coached wonderfully well."

It's a sentiment that was echoed by Robinson on Tuesday.

Asked if he agreed with Doherty's comments, the former Sheffield United man responded, "Yeah, definitely, yeah.

"I think we're going in the right direction.

"It's hard for maybe fans to see that because, at the end of the day, it is results. But I've been involved in football now a long time - and first-team football - you can feel it; you can feel that it's coming.

"We've played some great football along the way. Yeah, some disappointing results. But for the long-term - I think with the young players coming through - to be learning off the gaffer and Keith [Andrews], and with the tactical way of how we want to play football... I wouldn't say he's changing, but this is the way forward.

"The more that these young lads coming through, and even us older lads learning, then we're only going to get better.

"And hopefully them small margins where we win 1-0 or 2-1, that will come."

Doherty talked-up the happiness among the players on the training pitch, saying, "If you saw the way we were in camp, the way we were run, the way we were set up, the way we were coached, if there was a camera there, there would be no problem from anybody with how things were going."

Robinson built on those comments, hailing Kenny's possession-based drills and their usefulness in competitive matches.

"The level of the coaching has been really good," he added, "And, as I've said, for the long-term and for the teams now in the Premiership and the Championship - this is where it's going, and we need to stick by it.

"I've been enjoying every moment since the gaffer's come in because you're always learning. As a player you always want to be learning, and learning - not a different way, because a lot of managers are doing it - but a way of playing football, and how to get out and how to break down a team... It's been really good."

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