No room for sentiment in Trap's mission

Paul Hyland

GIOVANNI Trapattoni was unaware that Kevin Foley had made a decision to travel home today when he spoke to the press after beating Tuscany's best.

"I said to him now we are happy if you decide to stay with us," said Trapattoni. "He said, 'Ok, I think about it'. Obviously he is a little bit sad. That's normal, maybe we will decide tomorrow whether he wants to stay with us after Budapest."

A few moments earlier, Foley told journalists he was leaving Montecatini and then accused Trapattoni of betrayal.

Trapattoni went to some lengths to explain his decision to send Paul McShane's name to UEFA yesterday instead of Foley's. The Italian went on: "We thought very hard about what was the most appropriate decision. We based our decision on the fact the centre-halves - (Richard) Dunne, (John) O'Shea, (Darren) O'Dea - have problems."

"We are not sure if they will be 100 per cent. McShane did a careful medical check and we decided to include him in the 23."

"The reason behind this is that we may need one more central defenders and we know they are more subject to bookings. I spoke to Kevin in the morning and with regret I communicated my decision to him.

"Obviously, he was clearly upset. Also me. But I have responsibility to our team and the Irish nation. It's my duty to take this decision disregarding personal feeling.


"It was very difficult because we hold him in a high regard but we have this problem. It's not easy for me. He is sensitive. And me also. I think he's responsible.

"He has our respect, we admire his technical ability."

Trapattoni recalled a similar situation with Roberto Baggio when the 73-year-old managed Italy at the 2002 World Cup.

"Yes, also with Italy we went to Korea and we had this situation. Baggio I considered for three months. He had surgery on a cruciate ligament. By March 31, I wanted to see him play a minimum of one game. He played 20 minutes of the last game of the league. I had a heavy heart but I couldn't put him in the squad."