The only way that crowds will build at the Aviva Stadium again for Republic of Ireland home matches is if results and performances start to improve.
That’s according to expert analysts Liam Brady and Damien Duff, who were speaking on an exclusive RTÉ Soccer Social on Facebook live.
Attendances at Ireland home games have plummeted in recent seasons as the style of play under recently–sacked manager Martin O’Neill failed to excite fans.
Worse again, results were poor and the goals weren’t exactly flowing so simply changing the manager isn’t going to lead to an instant improvement in attendances.
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New boss Mick McCarthy along with assistant Robbie Keane will take charge of Ireland in 2019 and through to the end of Euro 2020, should they get that far, to be replaced by Stephen Kenny.
But Duff and Brady warn that it will take more than a change of management to get the fans buying tickets again.
"I went to the Denmark game, brought my son hoping that he’d fall in love with football, but you could feel the flatness around the ground," said Duff.
"It was an effort getting there for fans whereas I remember Lansdowne Road, the Aviva Stadium, there were special times and special nights there. There has been a massive disconnect and the only way you can reconnect is with results.
"It’s great bringing in Mick and Robbie, great spark, but it’s on the pitch now. There has been a lot of talk about Mick and Roy, but a lot of responsibility falls on the players because they’ve disappointed as well.
Brady added: "There’s been a big disconnect between the Irish team, the FAI and the fans and we’ve seen that in attendances.
"John Delaney, in one of the reasons he gave why Martin O’Neill and his team lost their jobs, was the fact that attendances were poor. I’m not too sure the regime is going to get the attendances that will fill the Aviva straight away.
"It’s about results and performances. Remember when Jack Charlton took over the team from Eoin Hand, there was a disconnect and Jack had to work almost two years before he filled Lansdowne Road.
"It didn’t just happen – they had to build it with results and performances. "