Kennedy: Chelsea is Behind Us
Wednesday, 12th Jan 2011 09:08
Veteran left-back Mark Kennedy says the squad have already put Sunday’s 7-0 FA Cup thrashing at Chelsea behind them and can’t wait to pit themselves against Arsenal in this evening’s Carling Cup semi-final at Portman Road.
Kennedy says that despite the heavy weekend defeat, the spirit is good: “It’s gone, I’ve forgotten about it. One of the great things about football is that there’s another game around the corner and that game can’t come quickly enough.
“I can tell the mood in the camp and, as difficult as it is, it is quite good. The lads are looking forward to the Arsenal game, they’re very positive. We had a good session with Charlie and Tony this morning.
“Arsenal, like any team, will come here with a game plan and we’re all looking forward to the match."
Kennedy says he was sorry to hear the news of his former Ireland team-mate Roy Keane’s sacking as Town boss: “I was bitterly disappointed to see the manager go. I’m a huge fan of his, both as a person and as a manager.
“In the short period I worked with him here, I certainly really enjoyed working with him and he had some fantastic attributes. I have no doubt whatsoever that he will be a successful manager, as he has been already.
“The game needs somebody like him. Hopefully, he’ll take a short break, I don’t know what he’s doing, but I hope to see him back in the game soon.”
The 34-year-old, who came to prominence with an FA Cup goal for Millwall against Arsenal as a teenager in 1995, says he and his team-mates must take some responsibility for Keane’s exit: “You can do all the coaching you want from nine to five, seven days a week, but when the players go out on the pitch it’s down to them.
“Collectively we have made mistakes this year that no manager could have affected and we have to take responsibility for that.”
Kennedy dismisses suggestions that some players weren’t too disappointed to see Keane move on: “Everybody at the club was right behind the manager. It’s a very, very good dressing room. It’s a really, really nice dressing room. We’ve got fantastic togetherness and a really good bunch of lads, but they are young.”
The ex-Ireland international says a lot of the young players at the club won’t have been through the transition from one manager to another before and that the senior squad members will have an important role to play: “It’s a very young group, a very inexperienced group of players, which the manager was keen to change, but for whatever reason didn’t happen.
“We don’t have an experienced squad, there are a few old heads. If you look at someone like Grant Leadbitter, he’s 25, and he’s probably one of our senior pros.
“It’s a tough time for the younger players, but they will learn from it. It’s a tough time for everyone at the club.”
Kennedy says the squad will give their all for Paul Jewell once he takes over on Thursday: “The new manager coming in has also been successful in his own right, gaining two promotions to the Premiership with two different clubs.
“I remember watching the game when he kept Bradford in the Premiership. He’s a successful guy and he’ll want to put his own stamp, his own authority on the club and he’ll be welcomed by the players.
“Everybody will give him 100%. Players should want to do well for themselves, it doesn’t matter who is in charge, you have to have pride in yourself.”
Before then, he says the players will give their all when Ian ‘Charlie’ McParland and Tony Loughlan take control for Arsenal's visit: “Charlie and Tony are in charge on Wednesday, two guys who are hugely respected by the players, and they will get 100% effort from the lads.
“We’ve got an opportunity to get to Wembley. There is going to be a full house and I’m sure we will be ready.”
Photo: Action Images
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