THIS is becoming a habit. While Robbie Keane is laid up short term and Richard Dunne on a long sick note, John O'Shea might just get used to the captain's armband.
HE'S certainly playing the part. O'Shea gave unqualified support for the manager, as you would expect, and a call to arms to young players who through circumstances find themselves carrying the hopes of a nation against Germany.
"It is unfortunate a few lads have retired and we seem to be missing experience this week with the injuries we have picked up as well," said O'Shea, seated beside Trapattoni at the traditional pre-match press conference.
"That is unfortunate but as the manager has said, when we made changes in Kazakhstan the lads came on and we won the game.
"The players that are in the team now, some people have been calling for them to be given a chance. They will get the chance to start and stake their claims for a starting place in the ongoing qualifiers and what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream of the world.
"Germany are ranked second and have some of the best young players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this season and in the Champions League.
"So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and management and the fans are looking forward to.
"You look forward to playing an occasion like this and playing against the best in the world is something you dream of. It is an occasion to look forward to and we have to grab hold of it and really take our chance.
"All the lads have impressed in training and in friendlies and shown it at club level too so they are picked on merit. Look at Séamus Coleman. He was playing on the right side of midfield and now he's back to full-back and he has done fantastically.
"There is a bit more pressure for a game like this but he has shown in his attitude and ability that he will be able to overcome that."
Asked about the threat from Germany's key men, particularly Mesut Ozil, O'Shea took a pragmatic view.
"Look, he is a fantastic player, but we can't focus attention too much on one player.
"They have plenty of others with the quality to punish you. I played against (Lukas) Podolski in the first game of the season so I am well aware of his qualities.
"But if I was to go through the whole team I would be here for quite a while talking about their quality and ability.
"We have to be on guard for all the German players."