Stephen Kenny: 'It was good to see Adam Idah and Troy Parrott score against Hungary'

Stephen Kenny believes the Republic of Ireland will reap the rewards from when he blooded young players early in his reign as manager.

Kenny hit out at ‘experts’ who criticised him for handing debuts to the likes of Troy Parrott and Adam Idah but he expects more to come from the duo after their match winning performances in last week’s friendly victory over Hungary that ended their 14-game unbeaten run.

Ironically, both Parrott and Idah featured in a friendly draw in Budapest three years ago where they were aged just 19 and 20 respectively.

Both players have enjoyed positive seasons at club level with Idah blossoming during a six month loan spell at Celtic where he won the league and cup double, scoring nine, including netting the winner in the Scottish Cup final victory over Rangers at Hampden Park.

Meanwhile, despite Excelsior’s relegation from the Dutch top flight, Parrott scored 17 goals in 32 appearances including seven in his last three.

Kenny is not surprised by the form of both strikers whom he nurtured at U-21 and senior level for Ireland.

“I’m not surprised at all,” said the St Patrick’s Athletic boss.

“He (Idah) has got great attributes and the move to Celtic has gone very well for him, with the double and him making a big contribution.”

Idah put Ireland in front against Hungary at the Aviva stadium before the Euro 2024 bound side levelled quickly. Parrott broke away late in the game to score the winner with both players now boasting 25 and 22 caps respectively.

Now with substantial international experience under their belt, Kenny feels the criticism they faced early in their careers was unfair and the blooding of young players was out of necessity.

“It was good to see himself and Troy score the other night. They played in Hungary two years ago, I played them, and Chiedozie made his debut. We drew 0-0 before the Euros and played really well. 

“Adam and Troy, a lot of people were saying, they’re not good enough, they shouldn’t be playing for Ireland, they’re not ready. 

“A few experts were saying, they’re not ready, they shouldn’t be… but the alternatives were, who, at that stage? 

“I think they’ve shown, with us blooding them early, it was good to see them score the other night and get a goal each the other night.

“I was pleased with that, I was pleased for them, because they are great lads. They deserve every success because they’ve got great attitudes. 

“They love representing Ireland. They are very proud and it’s great for them. They have played at every level for Ireland and to go and score goals for the senior team is great.”

Both players will return to their parent clubs Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur ahead of a crucial summer in their careers.