Kerr was nearly a hero, says Charlton

Jack Charlton believes Brian Kerr was close to becoming a Republic of Ireland “hero” before losing his job this week – but is at a loss to where the country will find their next manager.

Jack Charlton believes Brian Kerr was close to becoming a Republic of Ireland “hero” before losing his job this week – but is at a loss to where the country will find their next manager.

Kerr lost his post after failing to qualify for the World Cup, a tournament Charlton took the Republic to in 1990 and 1994.

Charlton famously used his players’ strengths to get results, something he admires and sees in Bolton boss Sam Allardyce.

However, Charlton does not know where the Football Association of Ireland will look for Kerr’s successor for the European Championship qualifying campaign starting next season.

Charlton said: “I think Sam likes to get the ball forward quickly and he likes to get it in the box, which I liked to do as a manager.

“But I wouldn’t put my money on anybody at the moment.

“In England we look to foreigners – people from Spain, France, Scandinavia. Maybe they should go there.”

Charlton, capped 35 times by England, continued: “I think it is unfortunate the way he (Kerr) has just gone.

“A couple of results – especially against Israel when they were leading 2-0 - cost them very dear and if they’d have won those games he’d be a hero.

“I don’t know if he should have been given more time or not. If the players liked him that is the main part.

“Mick McCarthy took them within sight of the World Cup quarter-final and he got the push.

“Brian Kerr got them within a point of qualifying and he got the push – I’m glad I’m not applying for the job.”

Despite the Republic’s recent setback, Charlton sees promise in the current squad and believes only key injuries robbed them of a place in next year’s tournament in Germany.

He added: “They’ve got a good squad of players, some very young lads - players with good clubs, and I fully expect them to go on and do okay.

“They were unfortunate losing two of their best players – Damien Duff and Roy Keane – for important games.

“They are hard to replace and that is the difference between qualifying and not qualifying.”

Charlton won the World Cup as a player with England in 1966, and was tonight inducted into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame.

Howard Kendall and Walter Winterbottom were inducted as managers, and Colin Bell, Ryan Giggs, Ian Wright, John Barnes, Bert Trautmann, Alex James and Debbie Bampton as players.

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