Monday 1 May 2017

Kerr in the dark

David Kelly

David Kelly

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr last night expressed surprise at being linked to a potential assistant manager's role to Chris Hughton at Newcastle United.

And while refusing to issue an outright rejection, Kerr admits he doesn't perceive himself as a No 2, while also suggesting that it would be difficult to combine such a role with his current job as Faroe Islands manager.

"I don't know where it came from," he said. "Myself and Chris are good friends. We discuss things about football, but mainly because they have a Faroese player and we talk about how things are getting on for him.

"But we've never discussed at any stage the possibility of me coming in and having a role at the club. I know Chris has been disappointed that Newcastle didn't renew his contract when they got promotion this year.

"It's standard form when a manager gets promoted that they renew his contract. I think it happened with West Brom and Blackpool when they got promoted. I'd say there was frustration for him.

"The previous assistant Colin Calderwood left and he had only a short time to go on his own contract and that didn't look like being extended. I don't actually know what's going on.

"I think he deserves better. I was at the training session in Leixlip during the summer and players were heading out leaving him with a smaller squad.

"He's got them into shape, he's no money to spend, but he's done a marvellous job. Of course he deserves a new contract, because that club was in a mess when he took it over."

But Kerr insisted thoughts of linking up with his former Ireland assistant were the furthest thing from his mind.

"It's not something that I've thought about," he said. "I'm busy with the job I'm trying to do with the Faroes. It's not really a role I've seen myself in, as a No 2.

"Of course, it would be interesting to work at a club with so much potential like Newcastle. But it hasn't been something that has come up and I haven't discussed it with Chris.

"I don't know how this all started up. When I first heard about it, I thought somebody was joking about it.

"I am friendly with Chris -- but Chris has hundreds of friends in the game who would probably be more qualified than me."

Irish Independent

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