Trap -- Anything is possible for Ireland at Euro 2012
IRELAND manager Giovanni Trapattoni has told his fearless Irish squad that anything is possible when his side kick off their Euro 2012 campaign in 34 days' time against Croatia.
Although outsiders to qualify from a fiendishly difficult qualifying group that also includes World and European champions Spain, as well as Italy, the veteran Italian insists that a surprise is possible.
"Everyone thought that Barcelona would be winners of the Champions League but they lost," said Trapattoni. "Denmark were on holidays and came back to win the European Championships before.
"I played against the best player in the world one time, Pele. I thought I was dead. I won the game.
"Obviously over the months, the stronger teams usually wins, but 90 minutes is 90 minutes. There are games that teams can lose in an instant after a mistake. That is football.
"With every game, we confirm our confidence and belief -- only with this is it possible to achieve something. I don't know what can happen."
And Trapattoni has refuted suggestions that his side are imprisoned by tactics.
"A manager or a coach cannot give the players an impression of fear. If you give fear to the players, I think they're dead. You must give them confidence.
"In football, we have ball or we don't have the ball. Offensive or defensive, there is only one ball. I don't forbid players to go forward, to go and score a goal also because that is important."
James McClean was included in Trapattoni's 23-man squad for the Euro 2012 championships after James McCarthy was forced to withdraw after revealing his father was undergoing treatment for cancer.
"I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw my name from selection for the Euro 2012 squad," McCarthy said. "I have discussed this with the manager. He was very understanding, and I thank him sincerely for that."