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Brian Kerr Isn't Happy With The Timing Of Martin O'Neill's New Contract

Brian Kerr Isn't Happy With The Timing Of Martin O'Neill's New Contract
By James Carroll
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Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr says the decision to hand Martin O'Neill a new two year contract before the conclusion of the Ireland's qualifying campaign as 'strange.'

The announcement was made by the Football Association of Ireland yesterday that manager O'Neill and his assistant Roy Keane would remain in their positions until the conclusion of the European Championships in 2020.

Kerr was speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland this morning and although he didn't disagree with the news, he has yet to see the logic announcing it before Ireland's two crucial games,

I think the timing is strange

I think most football people would think it’s a little premature when we haven’t finished the group yet, we have two important games to go.

It’s not usually how the board of the FAI and its chief executive have worked in relation to managers in recent times.

Also, given that the games are so important, I would have thought that the concentration would have been totally on achieving the two results over the next few days.


The FAI have a track record awarding managers with new contracts pre major tournaments, Mick McCarthy was handed a new two year contract prior to the 2002 World Cup, and famously Giovanni Trapattoni was handed a new deal prior to Ireland's disastrous showing at Euro 2012.

It has been a forgettable 2017 for Ireland, having scoring just two goals in qualification this calendar year against Austria and Georgia, while recording a solitary victory against Uruguay in a friendly last June.

Kerr has been left less than impressed in 2017 and in particular with the style of football that is being coached by O'Neill and his staff,


It’s not been a good 2017 at all for the team, we have won one friendly game against Uruguay, of the other six games we have had three draws and three defeats. Most of the football has been very poor.

I don’t think anyone has been overly enthused by the style of football.

James McClean was the hero the last time the sides met when he bagged himself a brace in a 3-1 victory for the Republic but he and Robbie Brady will both be unavailable for selection tonight after picking up yellow cards in the loss to Serbia last month.


Moldova last won a competitive fixture away from home in 2013 when they beat Montenegro 5-2 and although it should be a straightforward game for O'Neill and his men, the way 2017 has panned a nervous and tetchy performance is not beyond the realms of possibility for the boys in green.

See Also: Ross O'Carroll Kelly Denied Entry To Spin 1038 Offices Due To Irish Times Ban

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