| 1.6°C Dublin

Trap delighted to see young players grow


Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni at Wembley Stadium. Picture: David Maher/Sportsfile.

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni at Wembley Stadium. Picture: David Maher/Sportsfile.

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni at Wembley Stadium. Picture: David Maher/Sportsfile.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI believes that Ireland's young guns came of age against Wembley in England and showed that there is more than enough reason to be optimistic about the future.

"I have many reasons to be happy because I told you that while this was a friendly game, it was a very difficult game," he said. "We were dealing with the past and a great team and I looked to see our young players grow and they did with this performance.

"They need experience and they will get it against the great teams and the great players. I am happy. (James) McCarthy, (Seamus) Coleman, and (Shane) Long were the three best players on the pitch.

"Over the 90 minutes, I thought the result was right. England had more possession in the second half but we had a good moment with the goal at the start.

"I reminded them before the game to think about where they play – some in the Premier League but some in the Championship.

"There is not so much difference and I wanted them to show that.

"I also reminded them that it is 90 minutes of football and to show me and show our fans we can do it without fear. I saw the team in training play easily and with confidence. I asked them to do the same against England and they did.

"The friendly game against Spain in New York will be another great opportunity, a confrontation with these great players."

Trapattoni had kind words for David Forde, who stood between Ireland and a defeat in the last 10 minutes when England gathered momentum and went looking for a winner.

"He showed us good personality and that is our aim after Shay Given. He gave us confidence and particularly confidence to the defence. He was calm, sure of himself and confident.



"I saw them in the dressing-room a little bit tense. The atmosphere pushed them to a performance. I didn't need to put them under any more pressure. I just gave them trust and confidence. They started well and with enthusiasm. They took my advice."

Asked why he didn't find time for Wes Hoolohan and whether he still had doubts about his ability to cope with international level, Trapattoni claimed that he considered the Norwich playmaker as a starter and as a substitute but decided to wait until Georgia to give him a chance.

"I have no doubt about Wes," he said. "This game was about physical strength. He is fantastic player offensively and I did think about him about him with just one striker. But we have time to try this." Roy Hodgson was disappointed England could not find a way to get a winning goal but gave credit to Ireland. "We played well enough, the quality of the play was good but I must give the Irish team a lot of credit. They were very, very competitive and worked very hard from the front right to the back," said the England boss.

"When we did create chances, the goalkeeper made the saves. I was disappointed with the result and I thought I could have sealed the victory. But I can't be too disappointed with the way we tried to win the game. I knew it would be a tough test and it was tougher than I could have imagined. Ireland were really firing on all cylinders themselves.

"There are opponents in front of you and sometimes they put a spanner in the works and the Irish certainly did that.

"Both sets of fans were magnificent and I was delighted for that. Both sets of fans behaved very, very well and supported their team. The Irish were less in numbers but they made their voices heard."