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Manager still insists players are behind him

GIOVANNI Trapattoni is adamant that he retains the backing of his players as he makes his last stand in the Faroe Islands tonight.

He dismissed suggestions of a major falling out between Stephen Kelly and Marco Tardelli and believes that the rest of the players, and indeed Kelly, are behind him.

"No. Kelly? He was with us. He said to me: 'I am disappointed I want to think about something.' I said: 'You are a man. You are an important player and you can be in the game. You can be important for your country. You can think about this,'" claimed Trap.

"In 20 years as a manager I have had many, many players say, 'why I no play?' It is normal. Many players say this. We have other players. For me, this never a problem.

"I've already said, the team will have a good reaction. I've said before when we have had a bad result, I expect a good reaction. Character, attitude, commitment. That's what I want. It's normal. If I watch in other countries, they have managers who if they lose a game, the media must be critical, it is their job. It's normal, this.

"But you can't change after every bad result, you can't change 10 players. This is normal. Also in your jobs, there are days when it doesn't go well. It's normal in life. I accept the criticism. We played badly and Germany were very, very superior. I am not going to talk about we were missing five or six players -- no, we lost, it's finished."

And when pressed on whether he felt that this game in Torshavn could be his last as Ireland manager, his temper rose quickly.

"No, absolutely no. They would have to say 'no'. They must say why. I can ask them easily -- 'do you know that I was missing six or seven players from the Euros'. It's too easy.

"When they are sure, they have to decide, not me. I have crossed the Alps barefoot and I have overcome most difficulty in my entire years. Every manager has the moment, to lose, no lose. After the Euros, we lost only one game to Germany, the second team in the world. It's no problem.

"Obviously this is a very important game for us. Maybe also for our opponent. This is the match we must win," he added. "My job is to overcome the criticism. Every 90 minutes is 90 minutes. If they (FAI) decide, they decide, it's okay. If you write one bad article, does your editor says, 'Okay, you are out', because of one bad article? There has to be a reason."