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'More in the locker' | Jason Knight backs Kenny as he targets squad improvement

Republic of Ireland midfielder Jason Knight says the squad is in a good place but he thinks they can...
Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

4:43 PM - 16 Nov 2021



'More in the locker' | Jason K...

Sport

'More in the locker' | Jason Knight backs Kenny as he targets squad improvement

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

4:43 PM - 16 Nov 2021



Republic of Ireland midfielder Jason Knight says the squad is in a good place but he thinks they can produce more in the near future. 

Knight was the game-changer in Ireland's 3-0 win over Luxembourg on Sunday night.

He had a direct involvement in all three goals when he came off the bench as Ireland ended their FIFA World Cup Qualification campaign on a high.

Speaking in the press conference after the game, the 20-year-old said he felt calm and focused coming on and he put that directly down to the manager and his backroom team.

"He's been great, the whole camp, to be fair, it's about making an impact when you come on or when you're called on to start.

"That's down to the staff and the manager himself, creating a really competitive squad and making sure we're all ready when we do have to come on.

"I just wanted to get a touch of the ball really, just straight away get a touch and then build into the game and try and impose myself.

“The lads have been really, really good, especially in the last couple of camps.

"That is what you want as a competitive nation. You want to be really, really competitive within the squad as well, and I think we have that at the moment.”

Knight has also heaped praise upon the more senior members of the current Republic of Ireland squad.

He says it's crucial that when you have younger players coming in you also have more mature figures to look up to.

He puts his relatively seamless transition from underage to the senior set-up down to these.

“I think that has been down to the fact that a lot of senior players have been really, really good to us, obviously the staff as well.

“But the senior players have done their best to try to integrate us as well and look after us in that sense.

"It's been a step-up but it's something I've relished and I've tried to grasp."

The Luxembourg victory coming in the same week Ireland drew with Portugal gave a real sense this side is going in the right direction.

Much has been made of the 'project' Kenny is working on and the evolvement of the style of play to be seen in their most recent games.

Knight however wants to bring his game on and also feels the squad has more to give.

“Definitely, not just from me, from everybody. There is loads more in the locker and it is down to me to show that.

“It is just consistency. We have seen progression as we have gone through the campaign.

"I think it is just about keeping that going and bringing that forward and trying to get the best out of the squad that we can."

It has been widely speculated that Stephen Kenny will be the man to oversee the side's next attempt to qualify for a major tournament.

Many believe he should be given a new contract now before their next games in March, his current deal expires next summer.

Knight has spoken in the past about his support of Kenny, who he worked with in the U-21s before giving him his senior debut.

He was clear in his backing of Kenny when asked if he wants to see him get a new contract now.

"Of course, I think the whole squad does as well.

"We can see progression and we want to keep improving that with the gaffer as it is.

"They [the FAI] won't ask me personally but if they do I'll tell them I want the manager to stay."



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Jason Knight Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

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