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'There was no hiding behind walls afraid to greet me!' | Kerr's 'unusual' welcome at Landsdowne

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

11:24 19 Nov 2019

For Brian Kerr, it was visible change on and off the pitch at the Aviva Stadium on Monday night.

Ireland missed out on automatic qualification for Euro 2020 after a 1-1 draw with Denmark but uncharacteristically had the best of possession – and the game – against a higher-ranked side.

Matt Doherty got the goal as Ireland passed their way into Denmark's half, firing the ball towards Kasper Schmeichel's goal 15 times. Just three of those shots were on target but Mick McCarthy's side played with an ambition rarely seen in the rest of the campaign.

But it was off the field of play where former Ireland manager Brian Kerr noticed the most difference at the Aviva Stadium last night.

The long-time FAI critic said that for the first time in a long time he felt welcome to watch an Ireland match.

"I felt a lot more welcome and comfortable and I didn't see anyone hiding behind walls, afraid to greet me in case they were talked about if they did", Kerr told Off The Ball's Nathan Murphy after the game.

"We had no build-up tonight giving out about the FAI. I was delighted to be here and I enjoyed the little bit of work, but it was disappointing for everyone."

With Ireland now facing two playoff games away from home to qualify for next summer's tournament, Kerr joked that he had one lingering question after the game.

"The question I have is: if we play away to Slovakia or someone else in the playoff is it a split gate?

"Do the FAI get half the money and don't have to pay the stewards? – I think it's a very relevant question in light of the circumstances the FAI are in now!"

With Kerr having previously revealed that he asked FAI General Manager Noel Mooney to stop contacting him after receiving "baffling" emails about working with the FAI and the media as a 'Media Watchdog', Murphy retorted that Kerr should pose his query to Mooney himself.

"No," Kerr laughed, "I think my days of emails with Noel may have passed. I think it's back to my Media Watchdog role for the future!"

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