Former Republic of Ireland striker Stephen Elliott has backed Stephen Kenny to make the big decisions necessary to make his time as senior international manager a success.

Speaking on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast, the former Manchester City and Sunderland player emphasised the importance of Kenny getting the balance right between incoming and outgoing squad members.

"He'll have a few decisions to make regarding the players that are in the national team squad at the moment and who he wants to bring up and introduce into the senior squad, because he's obviously going to be aware more than anybody about who's been impressing in the 21s," said Elliott.

"So it's kind of getting that influx into the senior squad, them younger lads. I think he clarified yesterday that some of the senior lads that he's really been impressed with, they've got a bit of a future with him. 

"I think his biggest challenge is getting that balance right but he'll be well prepared mentally. Obviously, it's come a little bit quicker than he would have expected but I've no doubt he knows what he's doing and I'm really looking forward to see how it goes for him."

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Elliott added that Kenny's favoured style of play will be a deciding factor for the future of those players in question and that evidence suggests the former Dundalk manager will not shirk those big decisions.

"There's no shock to anybody that the way Stephen sets up to play is a lot different probably to what we've seen from the international managers of Ireland gone past," he said.

"So I think he's going to have to make a few decisions about one or two players, whether they've got a long-term future with the national team or whether their time has come to an end.

"But again, he doesn't seem afraid to make decisions. He was asked the question about Robbie Keane [regarding the coaching staff] and he decided he wanted his own backroom staff. I think as a national team manager, you should have that right.

"It's a huge job for him and he should be entitled to pick who he wants to go and work with. I don't think Robbie Keane was his decision anyway. That was something that happened before he came in.

 Stephen Elliott during the Sean Cox Fundraiser

"So I think it was a little bit unfair to ask him the question about Robbie because he would have had in his mind which people he wants to work around."

Of the current internationals likely to feature prominently, Elliott highlighted how Kenny has praised Sheffield United's John Egan and Wolves' Matt Doherty.

"Straight away when you're one of those players, you're thinking, 'This fella fancies me', and it might give you that little bit of a lift to go out there once the football gets going again," he said, while adding that Adam Idah of Norwich could be one ready to make the immediate step up from the Under-21 side.

Elliott, who played for Kenny's Ireland predecessor at Sunderland, believes Mick McCarthy "deserves a lot of credit" for getting the players motivated again after the grim end to their 2018 World Cup campaign.

"His reputation is intact and I'm sure it won't be long before we see Mick back in charge somewhere else," he added.