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Kerr: Boys in Green can win group but Abbotstown accountants must be disappointed

BRIAN Kerr believes that the Republic of Ireland can win Euro 2012 qualifying Group B and enjoy a celebration summer in Poland and the Ukraine in two years' time.

But the former Irish boss believes that the FAI will be less than pleased with the commercial prospects of a group which looks decidedly threadbare.

"The FAI didn't look deliriously happy looking as a group," said Kerr after he watched the Faroe Islands drawn in a tough section containing Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and Estonia.

"I think, from the football perspective, Trapattoni is quite happy. I would think that the association less so. I think selling expensive seats for games with Andorra, Armenia, Macedonia, I don't know if I'd want to be buying 60, 70 or 80 euro a piece per game.

"It's not a particularly attractive group from the point of view of the fans, but certainly a winnable group or a runners-up spot should be attained reasonably handily I would think."

"They have history with Slovakia and it didn't go too well in either match, although they narrowly won the first one after having had a sticky time," he continued.


"Russia will be bitterly disappointed that they didn't make the World Cup finals and, if Hiddink stays on, they'll be a power in it."

"Last time around they only got done by Germany in the last game at home.

"Up until that they'd been going very, very well but that was the killer for them, and then they lost the play-offs against Slovenia. But, from the Irish players' point of view, I think they'll be looking at it thinking 'that's a fairly straightforward sort of group, I think we should be capable of doing it'."

Kerr's family connections in Belfast will make the Faroe's trip to Northern Ireland double interesting for the Faroe Islands' manager.

"I'm happy we're playing Northern Ireland," he added. "But we're the only group with three World Cup qualifiers, which is unfortunate -- we were likely to get two I thought.

"I think Ireland only got one so that's a bit unfair. Slovenia is a very tough draw out of that pot, they were the best team there.

"Italy is an attractive draw for various reasons.

"I'd be familiar enough with the Italian team.

"They have a history with the Faroes -- the last time around Faroes gave them a tough game both home and away."