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Saturday 19 April 2014

Trapattoni challenges McCarthy to put Austria on the ropes

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni gesturing as he demanded more bite from his players in tonight’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria at the Aviva Stadium. He joked that he would punch midfielder James McCarthy if he didn’t impose himself on the game

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has called on James McCarthy to deliver a dominant display and lead Ireland to victory against Austria tonight.

McCarthy starred in last Friday's scoreless draw in Stockholm after being initially left out of the starting team, and Trapattoni hopes the Wigan midfielder can impose himself on the must-win qualifier.

Trapattoni still believes that the 22-year-old lacks a forceful personality, and quipped that he would punch him if he continues to suffer from what the Italian deems as shyness.

"He has great quality and he needs to improve on this," said Trapattoni.

"McCarthy grows as a player, and I think we need him to be more offensive. I told him that I would punch him if he doesn't stop being shy.

"He can increase and take more confidence, and in every training session I can see this. Now, we wish not to discuss his club, but I think he can play for a top team because he has good vision, he can immediately see a pass and he can shoot as well."

After playing alongside Paul Green in Sweden, McCarthy will be partnered by Glenn Whelan in the Lansdowne Road encounter.

Trap (above) has placed his faith in Derby striker Conor Sammon, who takes over from the injured Robbie Keane in the only other change from Friday. He is selected ahead of Wes Hoolahan and Simon Cox due to his physical presence and ability to hold the ball up.

Jon Walters has overcome a back problem and is preferred to Robbie Brady on the right side of midfield, while there is a slight injury concern over left-back Marc Wilson. Stephen Kelly is on standby if the Stoke man continues to be troubled by a groin complaint.

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