Shamrock Rovers: ‘Interaction is minimal’ – Celtic loan player Johnny Kenny is ‘the best striker in the country’ but contact with Glasgow is poor

The Bhoys adopted Kenny as a long-term project when they signed him from Sligo Rovers in 2022, but the under-21s have yet to come close to Parkhead’s first team and he is currently on a season-long loan with Rovers. , his second spell with the Hoops.

Kenny has an offer to travel to Glasgow next weekend to watch the Bhoys take on Rangers in the Scottish Cup final and add that trophy to the league title, but with an energy-sapping Dublin derby on Friday In the evening, you’ll probably skip Glasgow and watch it on TV.

“I could probably review this Saturday as we have the weekend off after Shelbourne, but I was there two weeks ago against Rangers, I was at that game. But I won’t review this weekend because there’s a lot of traveling and we’ll be back after a while.” Friday – Monday – Friday, but I’m sure it won’t be a problem for them,” he says about the team’s double objective.

He admits that the lines of communication between Dublin and Glasgow may be quiet despite his form this season (his winning goal in Monday’s 1-0 win over Derry City was Kenny’s seventh of the season), which which has made him, in the opinion of coach Stephen Bradley, the best striker in the country.

“Very little interaction to be honest,” says Kenny when asked how many deals there are with Parkhead. “Last year, I don’t think I heard it even once. This year, it’s a little better. Darren O’Dea has stepped into that kind of role, another Irishman, and I’ve heard more this year. But the interaction is minimal. I hope as I act it gets better. If you’re not acting, why would they contact you?

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“My contract runs out next summer 2025, and I don’t know where that will take us. I’m happy here at the moment, I’m scoring in consecutive games several times and I’m confident, but my focus is on Friday because they (Shels) “They have what we want right now.”

It is a sign of the huge leap Kenny has to make to break into the Celtic team that even an established international with Premier League experience, his compatriot Adam Idah, cannot make a run of starts for Celtic.

“No disrespect to him (Idah), but Kyogo (Furuhashi) is the man,” Kenny says. “Adam arrived on loan and I don’t know if he expected everything to go as well as he has done. I have to be that and better if I want to have a chance of playing for Celtic. I think Celtic and Shamrock Rovers are similar in that everyone wants to beat them and everyone wants what they have. “It’s the same mentality you need because everyone is after you.”

Bradley noted after the win in Derry that Kenny was a “different animal” this season compared to last, where he looked “lost” at times and the Sligo man admits he is now in better shape.

“I think it’s just a matter of fitness and the confidence the coach has in me this year is different. I’ve had a number of games. Last year I probably came out earlier than I wanted to,” he says.

“My fitness has improved and I just need to play with confidence. Last year I probably doubted myself. I wasn’t used to the mentality it takes to play for this club, compared to Sligo Rovers, and that’s no disrespect to Sligo Rovers.

“You need to play with confidence. What’s the point of doubting yourself? I probably doubted myself too much last year when I went through a stretch where I didn’t score. I’ve tried to keep my confidence high this year.

“In Sligo it’s different, obviously, because they’re not league winners at the moment or when I was there. “Here you’re expected to win every week, on Fridays, on Mondays, in Europe.

“It’s different in Sligo, you could probably get away with a defeat here or there, but it’s a cut-throat business here and you need to be prepared every week to win. Obviously, we haven’t done that in recent weeks. And we’ve tried to put it right.” That’s the difference, and I probably didn’t get used to it last year: the desire and attitude to win here is much greater.