Republic players gave Aviva crowd ‘a lot to scream’ – Kenny optimistic after waving Serbia toss


Irish fans yelled at the players as they pressed for a late winner against Serbia

Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny says his players gave the Aviva Stadium crowd ‘plenty of reason to shout’ after snatching a World Cup qualifying draw with Serbia .

“There were a lot of great individual performances,” Kenny told RTE.

“I think it was interesting.

As the Republic’s winless competitive streak under Kenny stretched to 12, there were plenty of positives for the boisterous 25,000 home fans following an energetic Irish performance.

Teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu further bolstered his fledgling reputation with 10 saves to keep the hosts in the game, while Norwich defender Andrew Omobamidele – also 19 – impressed on his home debut with an accomplished performance that belied his age.

Omobamidele nearly capped his first Republic start – he replaced injured Dara O’Shea against Portugal last week – with a superb goal but saw his raucous strike from a distance knocked back around the post by Serbian goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.

“He was really just calm,” Kenny said of the young defenseman.

“He’s so fast and has these physical attributes, but it’s just a start for him and he has to build on that now.

“He hasn’t played too many league games for Norwich so he’s still young, him and Bazunu – they were both excellent.”

Kenny described the Omobamidele as
Kenny described Omobamidele as “coolness personified” in what was the 19-year-old’s first international departure

Kenny’s roster also included Omobamidele’s Norwich teammate Adam Idah, 20, in attack and, alongside Bazunu, all three have skillfully demonstrated their credentials at the international level in the last three games.

However, Kenny played down the idea that his faith in youth has been restored, instead insisting that bringing the next generation through is a process that is far from over before praising some of his more seasoned members. team.

“The experienced players are amazing – Matt Doherty, it was his third game in six days, but he crossed the baseline in the 80th minute,” said the Dubliner.

“He just dug, he was absolutely on his feet, and Shane Duffy and John Egan too, they were great. They are great professionals and young players can learn from them.”

While Saturday’s draw against Azerbaijan did little to ease the pressure on Kenny, he was quick to point out that his side had lost only one of their last six games. .

“What we have to do is turn draws into wins because we shoot too many games.

“We have to score more goals but we are working on it, but listen, there have been good performances all week.

“We had a few breaks today, Bazunu was exceptional today to keep us up but we dug to get a point.

“We missed a lot of chances against Azerbaijan so it was great to finish tonight on a high note, after being trailed against what I thought were a very good team in Serbia I thought they were excellent. “

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