Ireland boss praises West Brom hero Callum Robinson

Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny believes there is a lot more to come from Albion forward Callum Robinson.

Republic of Ireland's Callum Robinson
Republic of Ireland's Callum Robinson

The 26-year-old dominated the news agenda – both on and off the pitch – during the international break.

Robinson created headlines last week when he became the first high profile player to reveal he hasn’t been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Asked if he had received his jabs, the Albion man said: “I haven’t been vaccinated, no. That’s my choice at this moment in time.

“Further down the line I could change my mind and want to do it, but at this moment in time I haven’t been vaccinated, no.”

Robinson was asked the question ahead of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier in Azerbaijan – a match he went on to score two goals in.

And he then put in another sensational display on Tuesday – netting a hat-trick in a 3-0 friendly win over Qatar in Dublin.

Prior to this round of fixtures, Robinson had only netted once for his country.

But this week he ruthlessly found his goalscoring touch after being deployed as one of two number 10s in Kenny’s 3-4-2-1 formation.

“As a player he still has more to give,” Kenny said.

“To get those five goals now will give him real belief over the next while, I hope.

“It was an incredible return.

“He’s going to be an important player for us now, over the next couple of years.

“He’s very good in the group, he’s a really bubbly character with a lot of decency, a lot of good points as a person. We want him to flourish, enjoy his football and bring joy to the team.”

Robinson’s hat-trick was the first scored by an Ireland player since Robbie Keane bagged a treble against Gibraltar seven years ago.

The Albion forward described the international break as ‘crazy’ after he scored his goals following the revelation he hasn’t received his Covid-19 vaccination.

But he said he received wonderful support from his Ireland team-mates.

“It’s been a crazy week for me, but I’m really happy to finish it off with a few goals,” the former Villa youngster said.

“My team-mates have been there for me all week, obviously with what went on in the press, that’s what we’re about – we stick together.

“I’d be the same if it were one of my team-mates, they were there for me all week.

“You could see by the way I was playing, nothing was in my head, I just wanted to get two results.”

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