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No worries for Tardelli - and no mercy on cards

IT'S all good from as far as Marco Tardelli is concerned. Injuries? No problem and fortunately for his boss, no worries.

Niggling doubts about John O'Shea and Shay Given were put to bed without ceremony.

"John O'Shea is OK, you saw him on the pitch, he played well. All players played very well so we have many options against Andorra," said Tardelli.

"Shay didn't train because of a knock on his wrist. But it's no problem. Maybe tomorrow he will start again."

Tardelli, like boss Giovanni Trapattoni, doesn't forsee any radical changes in the Ireland line-up or tactics against one of the weakest teams in world football.

"I don't think so. We can play like the other matches because we have our balance in this system," added the assistant.

"We are offensive because we have two strikers and two wide offensive players. It's right for us."

Training provided an opportunity to simulate the size of the pitch that the players will face in Andorra.

"Sometimes we narrow the pitch in training but the pitch is normal size, it's the stadium which is small. The measurements are that of a normal pitch.

Tardelli has memories of similar games against similar opposition in his day and sheepishly admitted to two notable calamities.


"Yes I remember when I was a player sometimes against the 'weaker' teams. I drew against Cyprus one time, I drew against Malta. Cyprus many years ago were not that good; now it's a very good team," he said.

No consideration will be given to the issue of yellow cards and the idea that Trapattoni might take a gamble to protect his best team for Tuesday's game against Armenia. "No, no, no, I think we must play with all players," added Tardelli. "Also the players on yellow cards will play."