Tardelli begs Duff to come back for Germany clash

Paul Hyland

MARCO Tardelli has directed another plea towards Damien Duff in a desperate bid to bring him back for Germany next month.

Duff suggested at the weekend that if the entire Ireland team came down with some form of plague, he would help out.

But while the rest of us have come to terms with the fact that the Duffer won't be with us any more, Tardelli and Trapattoni are still pining.

Accepting that it is unlikely that Duff will reconsider his decision to retire fully, Tardelli seemed to suggest that Trapattoni would settle for one more game.

"I know he has said he has retired, but I hope he will be back for the Germany. It is possible," Tardelli said.

"I don't know if he will or not, but I always see him during Fulham's matches and I think it is possible. Why not? He is a very good player. He said he has stopped but I hope he will come back.

"I know he said 'I retire' and he said it very clear, very clear but I hope, I hope. Like Richard Dunne, I hope he come for the German game.

"Maybe it is possible he speak to the other players. After the Germany game? I don't think so."

Tardelli has been noticeably unhappy with what he seems to believe is momentum against Trapattoni and cannot understand why anyone would be critical of his long time mentor.

"I don't know why anyone would criticise Giovanni because of what he has achieved in the game," said Tardelli.

"He works very hard. He is the same, like the first time I met him," he added.

Tardelli revealed that Robbie Keane is fighting fit and ready to start again on a quest for qualification.

"I spoke with Robbie and he feels well, he slept well in the airplane and now he feels good. He likes to play in the national team and he loves the country; we need to start again."

Tardelli admitted he was surprised by Darron Gibson's decision to take a step back from international football but believes that his replacement David Meyler can reach a new level.

"Yes, what surprised me was that I think every player is important for the team. But for me the important players are the players who come here, stay on the bench, stay on the pitch and fight for their place.

"David Meyler is a good player. He is young and this is a good opportunity for him," added Trapattoni's assistant.