Stephen Kenny reacts to loss of Jeff Hendrick as midfielder returns to Newcastle United

Jeff Hendrick will head back to Tyneside early from international duty – after being sent off.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder was dismissed in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Wales in Cardiff for bringing down Tyler Roberts. Hendrick, signed by Newcastle United as a free agent in the summer, is now suspended for Wednesday night’s Nations League fixture against Bulgaria.

The dismissal caps a tough few weeks for Hendrick, who has struggled for form since making a goalscoring debut in the club’s season-opening win over West Ham United in September.

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny said: “Jeff’s doing really well at the moment. Jeff’s shown a better range of passing, a more ambitious range of passing. (He) has shown an ability to drive forward with the ball in space, and he’s putting in an unbelievable shift in terms of kilometres clocked up.

Jeff Hendrick brings down Wales' Tyler Roberts.Jeff Hendrick brings down Wales' Tyler Roberts.
Jeff Hendrick brings down Wales' Tyler Roberts.

"That central midfield role probably suits him better than playing higher up the park. He’ll be a loss.”