'He is already instilling a real belief in each of us' - Darren Randolph reacts following Stephen Kenny's first training session

Mon, Aug 31 2020

Darren Randolph was impressed by his new manager on day one. Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

As Monday mornings go, today will have been a very exciting and special one for Stephen Kenny as he took to the Abbotstown pitches to take his first training session as the Republic of Ireland international team manager.

As if the Dubliner wasn't excited enough with that, the sight of James McCarthy taking part in full training and coming through unscathed will ensure Kenny heads for Bulgaria quite contented with his working week so far.

In the recent weeks and months since Kenny took over as manager, and with this week's Nations League fixtures fast approaching, a lot of the talk between fans, media circles and also from Kenny himself is that he is looking forward to doing his best alongside his backroom team to improve the style of football that the Boys in Green play and also how they are viewed around the world.

He is also very excited to silence the regular doubters and in recent interviews has clearly made the point  that the players we have are of a very good standard and can play football the right way.

Goalkeeper Darren Randolph spoke this afternoon about what the first 24 hours has been like in camp under their new manager and about the message that himself and the players are taking in the short period of time that they have been in camp.

"We had our first session this morning [and] he was quick to straight away go through what he expects of us, what he wants of us and importantly his ideas and philosophies of the game," said the West Ham stopper.

"He also has already focused in a big way on getting his message across about us being a more possession based team and wants to instill much more of a belief and self confidence in ourselves and in our abilities on the pitch.

"Ideally we would want a bit longer but we haven't got that luxury so we will take whatever we can in today and tomorrow and hopefully we can apply it effectively on Thursday and Sunday."

The immediate reaction following Kenny's first training session is a positive one with the Dubliner wasting no time in stamping his philosophies and man management skills on the team.

These are philosophies and skills that have served him extremely well up to now in his management career.

With the right mix of experience, alongside the very exciting young players that he knows extremely well, there is every reason for loyal followers of the Irish side to be positive and excited about the campaign to come.

"He told us last night and this morning once we got onto the training pitch that he wants us to be more of a possession-based team and for us to show our ability and quality more when we do have the ball.

"He is already instilling a real belief in each of us and has told us we have the ability and quality to play a more possession-based game and be a bit more confident as a team.

"By me saying we are going to play out from the back though and talk about a more possession-based game, some people may think we are going to start playing like Barcelona.

"Yes, we want to play, and there are new ideas we are going to try, but we are also well aware not to try anything ridiculous and won't be taking risks just for the sake of it.

"There will be changes to what people are used to seeing in this team though.”

Playing out from the back as a goalkeeper or as part of a defence isn't something Randolph is too familiar with but he is very excited about the challenge and with the early impressions that Kenny is having on the squad.

"It's part of the modern game. It's something that you end up working on in training. I wouldn't say West Ham are a team who do it too much but at the same time it wouldn't make me uncomfortable."

The vibes are positive after day one of the new Stephen Kenny regime, the key now is patience and time from all areas involved to allow him to put his stamp and instill his own influence on this team.