Category: Archive

Kerr managerial debut to lack Duff, Keane

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

World Cup forwards Robbie Keane and Damien Duff, who starred for Kerr’s crack junior sides as teenagers, both pulled out of the midweek friendly last weekend because of injuries.
Veteran defender Gary Kelly of Leeds United is also out of contention for health reasons.
Duff, who played under Kerr at the 1997 and ’99 FIFA Youth World Cup championships, is nursing a hamstring injury that kept him out of Blackburn Rovers’ 1-0 home win over Southampton in the English Premier League.
Keane, meanwhile, was forced to limp off in Tottenham’s 4-1 romp over Sunderland after damaging knee ligaments.
The three stars aside, Kerr inherits the bulk of former coach Mick McCarthy’s team which has struggled in the Euro ’04 qualifiers resuming next month.
Today’s match against Scotland is in preparation for Ireland’s next Group 10 qualifier, at Georgia on March 29. Ireland are second from bottom in the five-team group, winless and without a point after two games.
Kerr’s revised squad released last Sunday is: Goalkeepers — Shay Given (Newcastle United), Dean Kiely (Charlton Athletic), Nick Colgan (Hibernian). Defenders — Ian Harte (Leeds United), Gary Breen (West Ham United), Kenny Cunningham (Birmingham City), John O’Shea (Manchester United), Stephen Carr (Tottenham Hotspur), Richard Dunne (Manchester City), Steve Finnan (Fulham), and Andy O’Brien (Newcastle United).
Also, midfielders — Matt Holland (Ipswich Town), Colin Healy (Celtic), Mark Kinsella (Aston Villa), Lee Carsley (Everton), Rory Delap (Southampton), Stephen McPhail (Leeds United). Forwards — Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland), Clinton Morrison (Birmingham City), Gary Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), David Connolly (Wimbledon), and Steven Reid (Millwall).

Scotland’s German coach, Berti Vogts, has recalled West Ham midfielder Don Hutchison to face the Republic after a long injury-forced layoff.
The Scots have, however, lost Leeds center half Dominic Matteo, who announced his retirement from the international game last Thursday because of a chronic knee injury.
Vogts was full of praise for the Republic going into today’s match, and although expecting a tough test from the visitors, expressed confidence that his young side would prevail in the rare clash between the two Celtic powers.
“I saw the Irish in Japan against Germany at the World Cup and they are a great team, very strong,” he said. “But the time is right for us to beat them because we have to beat a big nation.”
Vogts’s pool of players for the friendly: Goalkeepers Robert Douglas (Celtic), Paul Gallacher (Dundee United), and Neil Sullivan (Tottenham Hotspur). Defenders — Graham Alexander (Preston North End), Russell Anderson (Aberdeen), Steven Caldwell (Newcastle United), Christian Dailly (West Ham United), Robert Malcolm (Rangers), Steven Pressley (Heart of Midlothian), Maurice Ross (Rangers).
Also, midfielders — Colin Cameron (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Scot Gemmill (Everton), Jackie McNamara (Celtic), Paul Devlin (Birmingham City), Barry Ferguson (Rangers), Paul Lambert (Celtic), Gary Naysmith (Everton), Jamie Smith (Celtic). Forewards — Stephen Crawford (Dunfermline Athletic), Scott Dobie (West Bromwich Albion), Don Hutchison (West Ham United), Kevin Kyle (Sunderland), Neil McCann (Rangers), Kenny Miller (Wolverhampton Wanderers), and Steven Thompson (Rangers).
In Belfast, Northern Ireland host Finland in another friendly.

Switzerland, who lead Ireland’s Euro ’04 qualifying group by one point over Russia, will also be in action today in one of 19 midweek internationals on the continent. They are away to Slovenia in Nova Gorica, while the Russians warm up in Limassol against Cyprus.
Pick of the midweek action includes Spain versus Germany, Italy against Euro ’04 hosts Portugal, Holland-Argentina, and European champions France’s tussle against the Czech Republic.
The latter match in Paris is a replay of the 1998 World Cup semifinal, which the French won 2-1.

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