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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Lawrenson warns against Kerr axe
Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr
Former Republic of Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson has warned against sacking Brian Kerr after the country's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

BBC football pundit Lawrenson said: "The easiest thing would be to sack the coach, but all he can do is work with the players he's got.

"No matter who the Football Association of Ireland might bring in, they still have to work with the same players.

"Unfortunately in international football, you can't buy players in."

A mediocre squad can only get you so far in international football
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson

With the likes of Roy Keane and Damien Duff ruled out through injury, Lawrenson bemoaned the lack of quality available to Kerr, especially on the bench.

Lawrenson said: "You look at the three substitutes Ireland brought on against Switzerland and that tells you what you need to know.

"Stephen Reid isn't a regular for Blackburn, Stephen Elliott has only played a handful of Premiership games since breaking into the Sunderland team and Gary Doherty isn't even a regular in the Norwich team in the Championship.

"He's got a lot of mediocrity in the squad and that can only get you so far in international football.

"I think the FA of Ireland has created the uncertainty about Brian's future.

"If it had been happy with him it would have sorted out his contract by now. It has to announce in the next few weeks what it is going to do with him."

Lawrenson says Kerr has already bequethed a valuable legacy to Irish football.

He said: "Brian has put things in place that Ireland hasn't had before, such as a regional coaching set-up and a technical director.

"He might lose his job but if a good group of players come through in five to ten years time it will be largely down to the things he's put in place."

Interview: Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr

Interview: Former Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino

News conference: Former Republic boss Mick McCarthy


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