Brian Kerr: Don't expect a radical overhaul from new Ireland boss Kenny

Brian Kerr: Don't expect a radical overhaul from new Ireland boss Kenny

Brian Kerr doesn’t expect a radical overhaul of the team when Stephen Kenny takes over as manager of the Republic of Ireland for the European Championship play-off with Slovakia.

The FAI is expected to confirm shortly that Kenny will take over from Mick McCarthy.

“I’m surprised by the news,” said former Ireland boss Brian Kerr.

“It’s an awkward position for the new FAI management to make but I’m sure it wasn’t taken rashly.

“Stephen will go into Slovakia play-off with no opportunity to play friendlies and will have to work on instinct.”

But Kerr says Kenny will need time to make the job his own.

Kerr told offtheball.com: “I don’t think there will be a massive overhaul of players straight away. I don’t think he’ll throw in a heap of under-21 players who are not regular starters in their teams in England.

“The likes of young Idah at Norwich, Milumpy at Millwall… but some of them are only bit players for their clubs.

“Will he put them in ahead of Mick’s regulars? He may fancy some of the younger players in the attacking positions than the ones Mick has used.

“We have to wait and see. But Stephen’s style has generally been an attacking style. Taking teams on regardless of their reputation.

“He’ll want to carry on his style and way of playing, but at international level, you have to respect the opposition.

“I wouldn't be criticizing Mick Mccarthy’s approach, with the players he’s had.”

Brian Kerr
Brian Kerr

Kenny now has time to get his feet under the table before the playoff match is scheduled, with September the earliest possible date.

“He’ll be making contacts with the players in the squad. He’ll be having conversations with them, I’m sure, assuring them he likes what they’ve done.

“He’ll need to make his own mind up. He’ll also have to put his staff together. I wouldn't be surprised if there's an addition of one or two staff. I don’t know what Robbie Keane’s position will be.

“It’s a big step up for everyone. It’s not the same as underage football

“But he has time. There’s no matches to go to at the moment. He has time to build up those relationships. Obviously they'll have to be by phone at the moment.”

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