Conor Hourihane keen to impress Stephen Kenny

The Cork-native also paid tribute to Mick McCarthy for the faith he showed in him.
Conor Hourihane keen to impress Stephen Kenny

Conor Hourihane says he ready to prove himself to new Ireland manager Stephen Kenny.

The Cork-native told the Southern Star podcast: “I’ve seen a lot of managers come and go in my career and this is another time where I have to prove to a manager what I’m all about. But it’s a hugely exciting time heading into the playoffs in October or November and a new manager always gives new ideas and a fresh buzz.”

The Aston Villa midfielder also paid tribute to Mick McCarthy for the faith he showed in him.

“He was massive for me,” said Hourihane. “He was the one who gave me the opportunity to get a foothold and then make that step. Martin O’Neill gave me my debut and I played a few friendly matches but Mick gave me the faith and belief.

“I think I started the campaign well but my form dipped a bit towards the end, if I’m being honest. But I'll always have huge thanks for him. When a new manager comes in it’s unsettling as you don’t know what will happen, so for him to put that faith in me was fantastic.”

Hourihane insisted that, amid what he calls “a scary time for everyone”, the Premier League must prioritise health and safety over finances as it plots a way to conclude this season.

“There are huge mixed signals at the minute,” he said. “One week I think there is no chance of coming back and the next they seem to be really trying to push it.

“I am not sure where I am at with it all at the moment, to be honest with you. It’s a real scary time for everyone. It would seem money is being talked about more than the health and safety of staff and players to be honest.

Hourihane added: “Whatever big decisions are made there are going to be a lot of unhappy people. Teams are going to miss out on what they have been trying to do all season. There are big decisions to be made and I for one am glad I’m not the one making the decision.

“It is all coming down to money and I hope it does not come down to just that. I hope players’ safety and backroom staff safety is taken into account.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox