Kilbane voices Irish regret
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Kevin Kilbane has defended Brian Kerr's record, but insists World Cup failure was a disaster.Republic of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane has expressed his belief that the failure to qualify for the World Cup finals was 'disastrous' for the country, although he defended the overall record of former boss Brian Kerr.
Kerr led Republic of Ireland to fourth in Group Four but still had high hopes of qualifying before a 0-0 draw to Switzerland on the final match day scuppered their hopes of making the finals in Germany.
Under Kerr's stewardship the side lost just once in qualifying, to former World Cup winners France, although The FAI decided not to renew his contract for the 2008 European Championship qualifying campaign.
Everton star Kilbane has now defended Kerr's record since taking up the post, although the midfielder voiced his regret that, with the players at their disposal, the nation failed to reach the game's biggest stage.
"Brian had been around the last two to three years and in fairness to him he's got a very good record," Kilbane told Sky Sports News.
"Apart from one or two matches against world class teams that we've lost he's done very well for us, but changes are made now and we've got to get on with it.
"A decision will be made over the next few weeks who is going to be manager and we'll wait for that decision.
"We've not qualified for the last two tournaments now which is disastrous for us really with the players we've got and the team we've got.
"I think we should be qualifying for the tournaments. It was a big disappointment this campaign.
"We started off well, it looked like we were going to be going on to qualify or certainly get in the play-offs at the very least but it just never happened for us."
Martin O'Neill, David O'Leary, Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alex Ferguson have all been linked with the vacant post, and Kilbane, whilst reluctant to speculate on who his next boss might be, admitted he would be watching the developments with anticipation.
"I don't know, it's probably not my decision to be making on that score but I'm going to be interested to see what names are bandied about over the next few weeks."