Patrick McEleney backs Ruaidhri Higgins to be a success with Ireland

Derry man Patrick McEleney believes the chief scout and opposition analyst position is perfect for Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny’s newest recruit, Ruaidhri Higgins.
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McEleney, who has played alongside and worked under Higgins at both Derry City and Dundalk respectively, feels the ex-Oriel Park assistant manager will relish his new role.

“Yes it’s a big step up, but I’m sure Ruaidhri will be ready for it and I think the role he’s in is made for him,” he insisted.

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“As everybody knows he’s really knowledgeable and he obviously was a good player as well which helps and I think his main attribute is how he gets his messages across.

Derry man Patrick McEleney believes Ruaidhri Higgins will relish his new job with Ireland.Derry man Patrick McEleney believes Ruaidhri Higgins will relish his new job with Ireland.
Derry man Patrick McEleney believes Ruaidhri Higgins will relish his new job with Ireland.

“His understanding of the game is brilliant and I think he’ll be a huge miss for us. He was massive for us in the changing room because he was a player and we could relate to him a bit.”

The 27-year-old feels Higgins has got a great knack on pin-pointing how to hurt opposition.

“Even in the big European games his details of how to hurt teams and where their strengths are is basically on point,” he explained.

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“At times after the game we would be thinking ‘jeez he was right there’ and that helped us a lot.

Ruaidhri Higgins.Ruaidhri Higgins.
Ruaidhri Higgins.

“He just seems to be on point when it comes to hurting teams, he just seems to find that area where a team is weak and it usually works.

“I have seen it first hand and what he’s about and anyone that knows him as a person, will know that he’ll be 100 per cent backing himself, as he’s a strong character.”

Having worked alongside Kenny for a number of years, McEleney knows how much the Ireland boss respects Higgins and with two close friends now working together there’s some added interest when watching the Boys in Green.

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“Stephen obviously respects his opinion of the game and us, as players, we have witnessed that first hand and we can understand why Stephen respects him," he added.

“Stephen also obviously trusts him a lot and that’s credit to Ruaidhri.

“Obviously going into this job people are rightfully going to be talking about all the football stuff, but as a person as well, Ruaidhri is a great fella.

“I’m actually really excited to see how it pans out because obviously we support Ireland, but it’s a different sort of thing now because the people in there now, we know and I really want them to do well.”

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