Stephen Kenny has said that he regrets not having had the opportunity to talk to Robbie Keane about his decision not to retain him in his new backroom team.
“I would have preferred to, but the circumstances didn’t lend themselves,” he said.
“It would have been my preference, but there are complex contract arrangements.
“Things happened very quickly last weekend and we had to move swiftly. I have huge respect for Robbie Keane as a player. What he has achieved is remarkable, his goals and appearances probably won’t be equalled.
“But I have learned as a manager what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. You learn through your experiences and you must have the ability to pick your own backroom team, for one.
The second thing, what works best for me as a manager, is I don’t want a huge staff, and everyone must have clearly defined roles.
While Damien Duff has been confirmed as Kenny’s new assistant coach — along with assistant manager Keith Andrews and goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly — Kenny declined to say if Duff, currently coaching with Celtic, would be ready to work full-time with the Irish squad from his projected start date in August.
“I think with respect to Celtic, they have to sort that out between them,” he said.
“He tells me what a fantastic club it is and how much he has enjoyed his time there, but we will have to see what develops. He was hoping to see out the season and win the treble there at least, but I don’t want to speak about his future, he can speak about that himself.”
Kenny did confirm that he has spoken to Mick McCarthy since the handover.
“He actually phoned me, to be fair to him. He just wished me luck and we spoke. It is just unfortunate circumstances that the play-offs were called off in March and then in June. We all envisaged a straightforward handover, but that is the way that it went.”
Paying tribute to his family for the sacrifices they have made for his career, Kenny said that he had no concerns about the pressures that might come their way with him being an Ireland manager who lives in Ireland.
“I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t be the manager of Ireland, without the support of my family. Siobhan, my wife and children.
“Some of my children have moved school three times. Niamh, my eldest, has moved five times, in three different jurisdictions— here, in the North, in Scotland.
I’m sure there will be times which may prove difficult, but the way I’m looking at it, and the way my family are looking at it, we’re going to try to enjoy the job rather than worry about the possibilities.
“I want to live in Ireland, it’s my country, it’s where I was born. We’re going to have to try to enjoy our lives and this special moment. It’s something to embrace, not be fearful of.”