Kerr to go on offensive against 'dangerous' Cyprus

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The Independent Football

Following defeat to France earlier this month, Kerr and his players find themselves in a must-win situation for both games, knowing they have to pick up six points to clinch at least a play-off place.

Kerr is without inspirational midfielder Roy Keane for the two fixtures after the Manchester United captain recently broke a metatarsal in his left foot, while the Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison and Tottenham winger Andy Reid are suspended for the game in Nicosia.

The Wigan striker David Connolly has therefore been recalled after two years in the international wilderness, while Reading forward Kevin Doyle has been included in the squad for the first time.

Kerr knows Cyprus will prove far more awkward opponents compared to the side beaten 3-0 in the opening game of the campaign a year ago. "They changed their manager mid-stream, and it looks like they have improved," Kerr said. "They gave Switzerland two awkward games, and were probably unfortunate to lose away, so they've a bit going for them as they also won in the Faroes 3-0, while everybody else has only beaten them 2-0.

"Their club teams have improved dramatically in the European rankings, so they are capable and dangerous, but we have to do our stuff because we are capable of winning the game. Every match we've played in the group we've approached it trying to win. Looking at the games individually and impartially, we've put out attacking teams in every match.

"We've had a go, with three, four and sometimes five attacking players on the pitch, so there won't be any change in approach, philosophy or mentality for these games."