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We have to box clever

NEVER mind the quality, count the points. That's the pragmatic view of the Republic of Ireland's first competitive outing in the Aviva Stadium against Andorra. Giovanni Trapattoni is taking no chances.

While the business end of Euro 2012 qualifying Group B takes place in the Lokomotiv Stadium in Moscow, where Russia host Slovakia, Trapattoni will ask his players to put Andorra away as quickly as possible and without fuss.

"It's important to start with a high tempo -- we must not allow them any confidence. We choose our attitude and we start on the front foot. We cannot allow them to pass the ball.

"They will be compact at the back and like a boxer, we must hit them with combinations and impose our game," he added with a pugilistic demonstration which proved that Trap might have made a decent bantamweight if he had chosen the fight game as a career.

Trapattoni quickly pushed to one side any thoughts of changes for this game. Pretty much everyone else sees Andorra for the true minnows that they are but not Trap.

"I thought about the possibility of changing a couple of players for this match but I wanted to see if the players who played against Armenia had fully recovered. They are very, very well. I am satisfied that they are fully recovered and we can start with the same team.

"I saw Andorra against England a year ago and they all stay back. We must put pressure on and I'm sure we will have many opportunities in their box.

"But we must be aware of the counter-attack. Against Armenia, we allowed two or three counter-attacks and it was very, very dangerous. We need to be enthusiastic but not too enthusiastic."

One risk Trapattoni is happy to take is the use of Glenn Whelan from the start even though the Stoke midfielder shipped a yellow card in Yerevan.

"I told him be careful because we have Russia. When we have an advantage, he is one of the first I will change."


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