Jason Knight: 'We're behind the manager'

Kenny is now 10 games without a win and, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s friendly with Qatar in Hungary, Knight insisted that the Ireland manager still has the backing of the squad.
Jason Knight: 'We're behind the manager'

Luxembourg's Marvin da Graça tackles Jason Knight at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night

Jason Knight insists the Republic of Ireland players remain fully supportive of manager Stephen Kenny.

Ireland suffered a humbling 1-0 loss to Luxembourg on Saturday, making it two defeats from their opening World Cup qualifiers.

Kenny is now 10 games without a win and, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s friendly with Qatar in Hungary, Knight insisted that the Ireland manager still has the backing of the squad.

“Yes, definitely. I've been with Stephen since he brought me into the U21s camp and I've seen the way he's worked for quite a bit.

“We got some really good results with the 21s and unfortunately just missed out on qualification for the U21s European Championships. I've seen him for quite a long time now, so I'm definitely still behind him.

“It's a results-driven business that we're in and that's ultimately what matters. But you want to put good performances in as well and we're trying to blend it, but get the right results, ultimately,” the 20-year-old midfielder continued.

Knight, who has been handed the captain’s armband at Derby County by club boss Wayne Rooney, was given a first competitive start for his country against Luxembourg.

Skipper Seamus Coleman fumed at players not playing with pride or bravery following the defeat but Knight rebuked the suggestion this squad aren’t good enough to implement Kenny’s style of play.

“We've got some really, really talented players in the squad and really good footballers, so I don't think that's true. 

"I think we can play a really good footballing system and we're just trying to bed it in.

“Us young lads coming through need to step up now, this is the international stage and you're here for a reason so it's down to us to ultimately perform.

“I think that's something we can do as players moreso than the manager. It's down to us to want the ball and move the ball quickly and show for each other. That's something we've got to fix internally as players.

“We can all see as players that he's trying to implement an attractive style of play for the senior international team and that's going to take time, like anything does, but we're really behind the manager at the moment."

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