Keith Andrews refuses to rule out stepping up with Stephen Kenny

Keith Andrews has refused to rule out joining the backroom team of Ireland manager-elect Stephen Kenny but admits he’s an ambitious coach.

Keith Andrews refuses to rule out stepping up with Stephen Kenny

Keith Andrews has refused to rule out joining the backroom team of Ireland manager-elect Stephen Kenny but admits he’s an ambitious coach.

Kenny enlisted the former Ireland captain as his U21 assistant 12 months ago and together they’ve elevated the side to the brink of a first-ever major tournament.

Top of their Euro qualifying group, Kenny will oversee his final two games next month against Iceland and Luxembourg before replacing Mick McCarthy.

The U21s will have one qualifier left in October against Italy but Andrews will likely have stepped up to the senior staff by then.

“I’m in a great position, enjoying life and we’ll see what happens,” said the 40-year-old.

“I’m not sure about any situation. I’m contracted as Stephen’s U21 assistant as long as that lasts. I’ll focus on the two huge matches in March.

“I’ve got ambitions but I’m not yet 40. I’m a busy man and not reliant on one job.

“I’m finishing off my Uefa Pro License course and working in punditry.

“That’s relevant as it’s not as if I’m off covering badminton.”

Kenny and Andrews will have the services of Tottenham Hotspur striker Troy Parrott based upon comments made by McCarthy last week.

Andrews shares the senior manager’s view that a loan move from Spurs last month would have been more beneficial for the 18-year-old but his lack of first-team action at White Hart Lane is less of an issue at U21 level.

Parrott bagged four goals in as many qualifiers for the underage team, including one in the 4-1 win over Sweden.

That victory last time out in November was led by Parrott, who only linked up with the squad on matchday having been on the bench for the seniors against Denmark 24 hours earlier.

“To my knowledge, it was unprecedented for that to happen and it wasn’t ideal for match preparation,” said the 35-times capped former Ireland midfielder.

“It couldn’t have happened to a better fella because he’s very patriotic. He clearly wanted to start and we saw in the second half the difference he made in the match.

“Nothing fazes Troy. It could throw a lot of players, for example I wonder how I would have handled that, but it didn’t affect Troy in the slightest.

“It would be brilliant to have him available for our two games but we won’t know for sure until the squads are named.”

Kenny’s cubs host Iceland on March 26, just hours before the big Euro play-off in Slovakia for the seniors. Three points at Tallaght Stadium and another win in Luxembourg five days later would seal a play-off for next year’s finals hosted by Hungary and Slovenia.

“Let’s not forget that we owe Iceland one because they beat us over there,” Andrews noted about the 1-0 defeat in October.

“There’s a lot of hype around our squad of players and hopefully they can all kick on.”

- Keith Andrews was speaking at Newstalk’s Off The Ball roadshow in association with Virgin Media Sport.

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