Tuesday 6 December 2016

James McClean 'felt a bit insulted' by one of Giovanni Trapattoni's decisions during his time as Ireland manager

Published 30/11/2016 | 17:45

James McClean has opened up on his relationship with former Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, saying that although he respects the Italian, he feels that the legendary manager 'insulted' him at Euro 2012.

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The European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine was the highlight of Trapattoni's tenure as Ireland manager, although the tournament quickly turned sour with the Boys in Green suffering three heavy defeats.

McClean was selected for the Ireland squad after a stellar season with Sunderland that saw him named the club's Young Player of the Year, but was left frustrated at his lack of playing time at Euro 2012.

McClean says it took him a while to recover from Trapattoni's snub that summer.

"If I’m honest, that knocked me a lot that I didn’t play in the European Championship and it took me a while to recover from that because it was the first time in a long time that I wasn’t being played and I felt that I should have been playing," McClean told RTE Sport.

"During the Euros, I remember thinking that he said at the press conference that I was just there for the experience and I wouldn’t be playing. And then we were 3-0 down against Spain and he throws me on, and I felt a bit insulted really."

McClean is now thriving under Martin O'Neill at international level, recently scoring the winning goal in Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria in Vienna. However, he still holds respect for O'Neill's predecessor - even while admitting that that two weren't always on the same page.

“I have got nothing but respect for Mr Trapattoni. We didn’t always see eye to eye, we bumped heads, and I think that was down to the communication and the language barrier.”

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