Stephen Kenny has told his Republic of Ireland side to forget their resounding Nations League win over Scotland as they prepare to travel to Glasgow for the second leg.
The two sides meet in the same competition at Hampden Park on Saturday night with Ireland determined to repeat June’s 3-0 victory over their neighbors and the Scots desperate to avenge it.
However, Kenny has warned his players that those exploits at the Aviva Stadium won’t count for anything across the Irish Sea.
FT | Ireland 3-0 Scotland— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) June 11, 2022
When asked if the win had been his best day yet as a manager, Kenny replied: “I didn’t really think about it like that, to be honest, but it was a really good performance. .
“It wasn’t perfect – we conceded a few chances in the game and I think there are areas of that performance that we can improve on, many areas that we can improve on.
“It was a very, very good performance but we have to move on. That was then, now we have to go to Hampden very determined because Scotland’s record at home is great.
“We’re going to have to put in a really brilliant performance to get a result there and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The win over Scotland was just Kenny’s third competitive win in 18 attempts and was followed by a 1-1 draw against Ukraine in the Polish city of Lodz.
The result and performance in both games signaled a revival of fortunes for Ireland after opening their B1 League campaign by losing in Armenia and at home to the Ukrainians.
Naturally, they are keen to build on this foundation against the Scots before the Armenians visit Dublin on Tuesday night.
Kenny said: “The players were great in the last window. We had a mixed window, if you will – we started slow and disappointed, then finished strong and brilliant against Scotland.
“Both games against Ukraine were played very evenly, so it’s a big game, a big game.”
Kenny, who led Dunfermline to the Scottish Cup final at Hampden in 2007, has some big decisions to make ahead of his return with key men Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy and Michael Obafemi not currently playing in their respective clubs.
He said: “It’s not ideal that players don’t play in their team, it’s not an ideal situation, especially over a long period. You wouldn’t want to come in with too many players who don’t have played matches.
One man who has featured is Wolves defender Nathan Collins, whose involvement against Manchester City on Saturday lasted just 33 minutes before he was sent off for a nasty challenge against Jack Grealish.
When asked if he had spoken to Collins about the incident, Kenny replied, “I haven’t discussed it with him yet. I can do it by Saturday.
“It’s not characteristic of Nathan, he’s quite disciplined. I’m sure he’ll learn from it.