Ireland take on Netherlands in what is almost certain to be Stephen Kenny’s last competitive game in charge tomorrow night.
Ireland’s disappointing UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying campaign will come to a conclusion as Ireland cannot progress past the qualification stage.
Stephen Kenny has confirmed that Chiedozie Ogbene, Festy Ebosele and Will Smallbone did not travel to the Netherlands. Indeed, all three have been ruled out of both matches in this window.
Whereas, James McClean has travelled with the squad to Amsterdam. Whereas, Andrew Moran has been promoted from the U-21s. Indeed, Moran could become the 24th player to make his competitive debut under Stephen Kenny.
Kenny not talking about the end
"It is a fixture the players should really relish” explained Kenny. “The opportunity to come to Amsterdam and win, when they're looking to secure qualification themselves. It is a big motivation for the Dutch players to do it in front of their own fans”.
"We have fantastic travelling support. We had fantastic travelling support for the Gibraltar match in Portugal and again, tomorrow night.” It was “a brilliant atmosphere and one we would look forward to”.
"I think we've learnt a lot for sure. For us now, it is about these two games, Netherlands tomorrow and New Zealand on Tuesday.
“We want to finish strongly, fantastic game in Holland, the great Irish teams of the past who've come here but it has been elusive to get those big European victories” added Kenny.
"Progress has definitely been made” declared Alan Browne. “I've seen a lot of stuff in the media and we've come under a lot of criticism, and rightly so in terms of results”.
“But, it's been a tough one, the group we got, it was always going to be an uphill battle from the start”.
"I think we were really unfortunate but that is what you're up against, the best teams in the world and if you want to progress and get better, you've got to play and beat them”.
“We know that as players and staff, we can look forward to the future, we've just come up short in terms of results" added Browne.
Ireland will be backed by a sizeable support in the Netherlands with over 2600 supporters expected to travel to Amsterdam.
Netherlands v Republic of Ireland
UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying
Saturday, November 18, Kick-off: 7.45pm (8.45pm local time)
Referee: Marco Di Bello (ITA)