Dietmar Hamann said Ireland’s victory over Azerbaijan had to be put into perspective and took issue with Stephen Kenny’s post-match comments.
Kenny scored his first competitive victory as Ireland boss in Callum Robinson’s 13th first-half brace attempt and a late third from substitute Chiedozie Ogbene was 3-0 down at Baku.
Speaking to RTÉ after the final whistle, Kenny pointed out that Ireland had lost only once in their last seven matches, but Hamann said the results in their qualifying campaign for the World Cups just weren’t good enough.
“The manager has just won his first game in 13 competitive games. Turn around now and say he only lost one of the last seven, I think that’s wrong ‘- @DietmarHamann says today’s victory must be put into perspective #AZEIRL #World Cup2022 #RTEfootball pic.twitter.com/WZdkwJQqqC
– RTÉ Football (@RTEsoccer) October 9, 2021
“I didn’t like what the manager said,” Hamman said. “He just won his first game in 13 competitive games.
“Out of the 13 games there were at least six to eight opponents that I don’t expect Ireland to beat, but they should be able to beat them.
“Now turn around and say, ‘well we’ve only lost one in the last seven’, that’s wrong. Look at the table, they have five points with two games to go against Luxembourg and Portugal, and you have Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in your group.
“It doesn’t matter how many new players you bring in, and it’s not just a team of youngsters and freshmen. You have (Matt) Doherty, (Shane) Duffy, (John) Egan over there . (Josh) Cullen has been the greatest find in the last few games, he’s been brilliant.
“Yes, he brought in young players but I don’t like [that interview]. “
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Although happy to see Ireland stand out in their qualifying group, Hamman said they must save Saturday’s victory when they face Qatar in a friendly at Aviva Stadium on Tuesday.
“Keep your feet on the ground, have a positive performance and things might look different,” said the former Liverpool midfielder.
“After the game against Portugal I didn’t really want them to beat Azerbaijan because it was a hammer blow, I felt sorry for them.
Turning around now, having won the second game of the 17 games he was leading, and saying “we only had one loss which was two goals behind against Portugal” is wrong
“There is no excuse now for not having a positive performance and a good result against Qatar. [Kenny] It needs it and the team needs it.
“But to turn around now, having won the second game of the 17 games he was leading, and saying ‘we only had one loss which was two goals behind against Portugal’ is wrong.
“You have to put it in perspective. Things probably weren’t as bad as people claimed, but they sure aren’t as good as he thinks they are.”