Soccer

Thursday 21 August 2014

Trapattoni turns to Whelan for Austria test

Daniel McDonnell

Published 25/03/2013 | 05:00

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24 March 2013; Republic of Ireland's Glenn Whelan,  in action during squad training ahead of their side's 2014 FIFA World Cup, Group C, qualifier match against Austria on Tuesday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
24 March 2013; Republic of Ireland's Glenn Whelan, in action during squad training ahead of their side's 2014 FIFA World Cup, Group C, qualifier match against Austria on Tuesday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

GLENN WHELAN will replace Paul Green in the Ireland midfield for tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier against Austria, with James McCarthy retaining his place after his fine showing in Stockholm on Friday evening.

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The availability of Whelan, who missed the Sweden encounter with an ankle injury that flared up on the eve of the game, presented Trapattoni with a selection dilemma, given that Green excelled in his containment role at the Friends Arena, thus allowing McCarthy to get on the ball and influence the game.

However, Trapattoni always selects Whelan (right) when he is available, believing that he is the perfect shield for his defence and the manager indicated that the Stoke man would come straight back into his side after he came through training in Malahide yesterday.

"Whelan will play, he was injured," said Trapattoni. "He is okay now and can start, no problem. We have to play with personality and we are playing at home, not away. We can play Whelan and McCarthy," added the Ireland manager. "James is shy and I ask him to command on the pitch and he did that on Friday. Technically he has good vision on the ball, but he must also improve this."

With Robbie Keane's injury meaning that one change is enforced in the striking department, Trapattoni also has to decide whether to make a switch on the right side of midfield.

Jon Walters was an important part of the team effort in the scoreless draw but is troubled by a back complaint.

A home fixture might lend itself to involvement for Robbie Brady, with the manager keen to stress that he has no concerns about the winger's mentality.

"What I wanted to say was that I wanted to stimulate him psychologically, I want to see him stronger psychologically," said Trapattoni.

"We are playing at home here and we have the possibility to do more than we did in Sweden."

Irish Independent

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