Monday 5 December 2016

Quinn backs O'Neill to avoid Trapattoni's Euro errors

Soccer

Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30

Niall Quinn has faith in Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Niall Quinn has faith in Ireland manager Martin O'Neill

Niall Quinn is certain that Martin O'Neill will avoid the mistakes that turned Ireland's Euro 2012 experience into a disaster.

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The former Ireland forward feels O'Neill will manage the group better than Giovanni Trapattoni in terms of keeping morale high in the build-up and priming them for action. Last week, Ireland attacker Jonathan Walters compared the preparations with a 'prison camp' and said that the Polish experience was a strange one for the squad. Quinn thinks it will be a happier adventure next summer.

"There was a big anti-climax when we qualified for the 2012 finals," he said. "Speaking to a couple of players off the record about the last time, they said it was a wholly unenjoyable experience from the minute they got together.

"That was through the planning to the execution. Their on-pitch strategy didn't work at all either. Back then, all we had were tactics, and very questionable tactics at that.

Certain

"Things will be different this time, I'm certain of that. Martin and the team can build on the way they finished the campaign by beating Germany and Bosnia. The emphasis will be put on the motivational and self-belief side of things.

"All I'd heard in the last few years was people saying we didn't have the players and weren't not good enough - that they're not playing Manchester United and Liverpool anymore. Well, Martin and Roy (Keane) turned that on its head.

"These players suddenly look like they can do themselves and their country proud in the tournament."

Anthony Stokes' prospects of figuring in France have deteriorated after he was suspended by Celtic for two weeks following his Twitter outburst when he was left out of the squad for their weekend win at Inverness.

Stokes has barely figured since falling out of favour with Ronny Deila and has been linked with a January switch to Cardiff. He has been named in O'Neill's enlarged provisional squads, but won his last cap in a friendly with the USA 13 months ago.

Irish Independent

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