Trapattoni wants to be drawn with either co-host in Euro 2012 group stage
Published 16/11/2011 | 16:53
IRELAND manager Giovanni Trapattoni today declared his wish to be drawn against either of the co-hosts when the Euro 2012 groups are selected next month.
Ireland are seeded fourth ahead of the tournament in Poland and Ukraine, who are ranked first alongside Spain and the Netherlands.
And speaking on the morning he admitted - not surprisingly - that he is keen to avoid world and European champions Spain and world no 2 Holland in the group stages.
The co-hosts are top seeds, despite being the lowest ranked sides in the competition.
Poland are 28th in Uefa’s rankings, while Ukraine are next in line in 15th, one ahead of Ireland.
Europe’s top 13 make up the remainder of the 16-team field.
But he added: "But what is important that we don’t have any injuries or suspensions. We are not Barcelona, we’re not Real Madrid, or any of those other famous teams, but international football is different and we are a team that the players believe in."
And while the Italian admitted he will not be making any dramatic changes to the squad, he did say veteran Kevin Kilbane is unlikely to be involved.
"We know our players but there are two, three or four more that we know the names of. Strikers, we usually need four, but some strikers can also play out wide on the right or left too," he said, name-checking Simon Cox.
"But the midfielders and defenders are more important because they are more subject to fouls (suspensions). More or less the squad for yesterday, this is the squad."
And the 72-year-old believes he, assistant Marco Tardelli and their staff completed the latest phase of their mission when they guided their side into the Euro 2012 finals last night.
Asked about his new contract, Trapattoni said: "We said we did not want to put any pressure on the FAI but in the future, we will talk about this. It was important for us to have clarity.
"We are all responsible people and we were aware that had we failed with qualification, things could have gone differently. But now, there is clarity on both sides.
"I have said I think we deserve a new agreement, Marco and myself. We are now happy with the squad. We find new players in almost every game.
"We have done what we were asked to do by the FAI and the Irish people. They chose us for this reason and I think we have given the perfect answer with qualification."