The time is right for Kennedy
Wednesday 06 September 1995
reports from Vienna
Jack Charlton's reasoning is sometimes astonishingly uncluttered: there's no time like the present, he was saying yesterday. In naming Mark Kennedy, just 19, for his first taste of senior international football, Charlton might have been including Liverpool's protege in a five-a-side kick-about.
"This is an appropriate time, an ideal time, to play him," Charlton said. "He will either play crap, which I have seen him play, or he will play extremely well. He has a lot of ability."
Charlton, the "shrink", understands the psyche of the man, or rather the boy, in international football terms, well enough to know that such a black and white verdict will not knock Kennedy sideways.
"He's the type who won't let the occasion worry him. So in he goes at a time of need and why not? If Jason McAteer was here he would have played, too. The longer we put off bringing the younger lads in, the worse it is going to be."
Kennedy, promoted from the Under-21 squad, will attempt to carbon-copy Steve Staunton, sidelined through injury along with Phil Babb.
After the bonus of Latvia's 3-2 defeat of Austria last month, the Republic's hopes of qualifying from Group Six with Portugal, who are all but there, are looking much brighter than when Austria shredded a weakened midfield to win 3-1 at Lansdowne Road in June. Roy Keane and Andy Townsend, both absent then, will be back today.
The Austrian coach, Herbert Prohaska, is inwardly, at least, far more knotted up than Charlton. His job is on the line in the Ernst Happel Stadium where the nation's gloom is reflected in advance ticket sales of a mere 12,000.
Charlton's main concern is with the goals potential of his five-man midfield with Niall Quinn the lone ranger up front.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (European Championship Group Six v Austria, Vienna, tonight): A Kelly (Sheffield Utd); G Kelly (Leeds Utd), Irwin (Manchester Utd), Kernaghan (Manchester City), McGrath (Aston Villa), Houghton (Crystal Palace), Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday), Keane (Manchester Utd), Townsend (Aston Villa), Kennedy (Liverpool), Quinn (Manchester City).
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
John Terry desperate to avoid repeat of crying game by securing silverware
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: To be considered for this position you will n...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: We have opportunities for Cov...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to tea...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...