GIOVANNI Trapattoni came out fighting in Moscow today and rounded on critics who claim that his system is too negative and cannot deliver a win over a top-ranked nation.
“If I had a negative attitude in 35 years as a coach, I would not have the record I have as a manager. I have a simple philosophy. We score more than we concede,” he claimed. “Look at the table. We have scored more goals than any other team. The positive result is important because Russia have difficult games to go as well.”
Despite a raft of injury concerns, Trapattoni named a team with just two changes - both enforced and both at the back. Stephen Kelly comes in for John O'Shea and Darren O'Dea replaces the suspended Sean St Ledger.
“If the team can play with the same conviction and spirit, we can win in Russia.
“We are very conscious that we playing against a strong team. But we have the same,” added Trapattoni.
Republic of Ireland TEAM v Russia:
Given; Kelly, Dunne, O’Dea, Ward; Duff, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady; Keane, Doyle.