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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Holland backs new man Kerr

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

TOWN skipper Matt Holland has backed the appointment of Brian Kerr as the next Republic of Ireland manager and has vowed to get behind the new boss.

The Ipswich captain, who was a staunch supporter of former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, has welcomed the move to promote Kerr from the Under-21 squad boss to take charge of the senior squad.

TOWN skipper Matt Holland has backed the appointment of Brian Kerr as the next Republic of Ireland manager and has vowed to get behind the new boss.

The Ipswich captain, who was a staunch supporter of former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, has welcomed the move to promote Kerr from the Under-21 squad boss to take charge of the senior squad.

Holland, who admits he does not know Kerr well, said: "Brian has done a lot for the lower age-level teams. We have quite a young squad and many of them have worked with him before and really respect him.

"I have only met him at close quarters on our last trip when he was caretaker-manager and got on fine with him. He has a great reputation within the Irish game. Everyone should back him – I certainly will. He will be trying to get us back on track in the qualifications and I will certainly be behind him and help in anyway I can."

Kerr is expected to be officially unveiled as McCarthy's successor tomorrow and is unlikely to bring back Manchester United's Roy Keane, who left the Ireland team after a row with McCarthy at last year's World Cup Finals.

Ireland are ranked 14th in the world but after a relatively successful World Cup they are struggling to qualify for Euro 2004.

Kerr, a Dubliner, is known to have been unimpressed with Keane's antics which led him to be kicked out of the World Cup and sent home in disgrace.

Kerr was last night in Abu Dhabi where the Irish Under-20s are playing in an international tournament. He has already taken them to third place in the World Under-20 Championship in Malaysia in 1999. He has won the European Under-16s championship in Scotland and the Under-18s in Cyprus. Robbie Keane, Graham Barrett, John O'Shea, Damien Duff and Steven Carr are among his protégés.

At club level in Ireland, Kerr managed Shamrock Rovers' B team and then St Patrick's Athletic. He was a keen boxer as a youngster and his father, Frank Kerr, was an Irish fly-weight boxing champion.

A teetotaller who, at one time, gave up sport altogether to work as a technician in the botany department of University College, Dublin, Kerr will be paid around £230,000 per year.

He saw off the challenges of Bryan Robson and Kevin Moran, who made the final short-list after former Ipswich player and coach Bryan Hamilton compiled a number of candidates.

Holland, who scored in the World Cup Finals in Japan against Cameroon, was an important member of the Irish side during the tournament. He has won 27 caps and scored four goals.

Andy Warren gives his observations following Ipswich Town’s hard-fought 1-0 victory at Portman Road this afternoon.

Paul Lambert always felt his first win as Ipswich manager would be a scruffy one, with the Scot proud of his players after they saw out seven minutes of stoppage time to secure three points against Wigan.

It wasn’t pretty, but Freddie Sears’ deflected goal was enough to secure Ipswich Town’s first home win since April this afternoon.

Ipswich Town beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 at Portman Road this afternoon. Relive the action here.

Ipswich Town fans have been giving their reactions to today’s 1-0 win over Wigan at Portman Road...

Andy Warren looks ahead to Ipswich Town’s clash with Wigan Athletic this afternoon.

Every day in the run-up to Christmas, we’re counting down Ipswich Town’s greatest-ever players, culminating in the Blues’ best featuring on Christmas Day.

In this week’s Ipswich Town nostalgia, we look back to December 21, 2004, when Darren Bent took Ipswich to the top of the Championsip on Christmas Day, after beating Wigan 2-1 thanks to his 89th-minute winner at Portman Road.

Captain Luke Chambers wants his Ipswich Town future sorted sooner rather than later but knows the club’s precarious position means he may have to be patient.

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