GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI took the bait when it was offered and continued the game of verbal tennis with Roy Keane. Not surprisingly, he was less than complimentary.
"He has been a great player and had great success. I don't know if he achieved the same results as coach or manager," said Trapattoni.
"I can ask him why, why why? I think for intelligent man, I cannot understand it," said Trapattoni before making a remark in Italian which is not printable in a family newspaper and at best meant 'Keane has won nothing'.
After that it was back to the same routine and the same answers he's been giving for nearly four years.
"After two defeats in two matches in which we conceded in the first minutes of the game, now it is important to go back with the same attitude, mentality and commitment we had in the qualifying matches.
"It is important to start the first minutes with concentration. Against Italy we play for our honour and the honour of the nation which has supported us all the way.
"We have a duty to do the best we can. Obviously we do not want to go home with another defeat."
Trapattoni shows no sign of quitting despite a growing chorus of disquiet about the performances his system delivered in Poland.
"I've had results in Italy and abroad in three or four different countries. If I didn't come back (to Italy), it was because I didn't want to. I've had offers, big clubs have put offers on the table but in Italy, they want everything immediately.
"I stay where my professionalism was rewarded in success...in Germany, in Portugal, Austria. Even in Ireland. I have really enjoyed my time and had great victories with these players."
Trapattoni remains hung up on the now infamous result between Sweden and Denmark in Euro 2004 when they drew 2-2 and squeezed Italy out of the competition.
"The same things don't always repeat themselves," Trapattoni said.
"It's because they happened in the past that the authorities keep an eye on these things. I think something has gone on in the past, but I don't see this happening again.
"There are great scars left by this, but we must play our own game. I have to ask for the greatest commitment possible."
Italy (probable): Buffon, Bonucci, De Rossi, Chiellini, Maggio, Marchisio, Pirlo, Motta, Giaccherini, Di Natale, Cassano.
Republic of Ireland: Given, St Ledger, Ward, Dunne, O'Shea, McGeady, Andrews, Whelan, Duff, Keane, Doyle.
Referee: C Cekir (Turkey).