Kerr's Duff delight
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Brian Kerr has expressed delight that Damien Duff is now fit and well.Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr has expressed delight that Damien Duff came through his return to action with flying colours.
The Chelsea winger played 45 minutes of Jackie McNamara's testimonial on Sunday and Kerr was happy to see his star show no signs of the hamstring trouble which have plagued him of late.
Kerr feels Duff will now be able to head into Ireland's World Cup qualification Group Four clashes against Israel at Lansdowne Road on Saturday and the trip to Faroe Islands next week on a high.
"Damien has not played much in the last month, but he had a good half yesterday," said Kerr.
"He had a bit of a break from the game at the end of the season while his hamstring healed.
"That is something I felt he needed because he was one of the few Chelsea players that played frequently over a long period.
"When other forward players were out injured he was a constant in the team, so it was a very intense period for him.
"But he played 70 minutes last week, which was very important for him, and yesterday was also very important for him.
"In particular in the second half, when they brought on a lot of fresh players after using the basis of their cup winning team for the first half, it was much livelier and that was good for Damien."
Kerr will assess the fitness of Liverpool defender Steve Finnan and Leicester stopper Alan Maybury on Tuesday.
Finnan picked up a thigh complaint in the UEFA Champions League win over Milan, while Maybury is nursing a back injury.
"Steve will be in tomorrow and it will be easier for us to make a judgment on how he is then," confirmed Kerr.
"I'm waiting to hear from Leicester on Alan, but I am hopeful at this stage he will be available."
Manchester United defender John O'Shea is set to link up with the squad later in the week, having missed the testimonial following the death of his grandmother.