Terry backs 'fantastic' Mourinho to be next England manager

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The Independent Online

England will get the chance to restore some battered pride when Switzerland, co-hosts of next year's European Championship, visit Wembley for a friendly in February in what could be the first game in charge for the new manager if Steve McClaren's successor is appointed before then.

The Football Association confirmed the 6 February friendly on Tuesday in what will be the 20th meeting between the nations. The FA also confirmed that England would play France in Paris on 26 March.

The England captain, John Terry, confirmed yesterday that he has met the FA chief executive, Brian Barwick, to discuss a number of subjects, although he refused to confirm whether the identity of the next England manager was one of them. "I have had a meeting with Brian Barwick but that stays very private between me and him," he said.

"It was not just about managers but many things. But that will stay very private. I'm sure he will meet a few of the other guys as well but it is great to be consulted on these matters."

He added: "Jose [Mourinho] came in and took us to a new level at Chelsea. I am very lucky to have worked with Jose he is a fantastic manager and a fantastic guy.

"He is one that really stands out for me and could make a big difference. He's a great guy, tactically he is very aware, and he understands the game very well.

"He enjoys the day-in, day-out stuff with a club side so maybe it would not suit him, but you never know it is down to the FA to contact him if they want to speak to him."

Elsewhere, the former Everton manager, Howard Kendall, has put himself forward for the vacant Republic of Ireland job. The 61-year-old, whose second spell in charge at Everton ended in 1998, believes his experience is enough to make him a contender.

Kendall confirmed he had made enquiries about becoming Steve Staunton's successor and said he would like Peter Beardsley to be his assistant. "I've had long enough out of it now and I feel it would be perfect for me and hopefully for them," he said. "Look at the CV and go through the history of what I've done." Kendall played for Preston, Everton, Birmingham and Stoke before moving into management at Blackburn.

Kendall also managed in Spain and Greece and took charge of Manchester City and Sheffield United, but it was during his first spell as manager of Everton that he made his mark. In six years in the 1980s the club won the League twice, the FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup.

And despite being out of management for almost a decade Kendall is bullish over his prospects. "I am in touch with the modern game, I write a column in the local newspaper and I go and watch Premier League football every week.

"I know who I would put in place. The likes of Peter Beardsley, he would be superb. I have spoken to Peter and he said he would love to work with me again."

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