Trap: 'Now we're ready for Russian invasion'

Paul Hyland

JOB done, six points banked and Giovanni Trapattoni will now turn his mind to important matters next month. Up first, the visit of Russia to the Aviva Stadium and then another pivotal qualification battle in Zilina against Slovakia.

The Irish boss always likes it when a plan comes together and, despite misgivings which exist about his method, it's difficult to disagree with his assessment that Ireland's Euro 2012 Group B campaign is on track.

"I predicted after Yerevan that in the second game, when we are a little fresh, we could play better," said Trapattoni. "We could play another game, a different game and score more goals.

"This happened and I am glad, not only for the result but because the team understood what we spoke about. The players started the game by looking immediately to score a goal.

"After we had Kevin Doyle's beautiful, fantastic goal. It was a pity to lose one but we also had a good reaction in the second-half.

"Now, the team plays well when there are difficult moments. We defended those situations well.

"There were moments when the opponent played better than us.


"We must continue like this. We must remember we are missing Duff, Hunt -- two other great options. With this I am confident about our future.

"We have six points along with Slovakia and we have more goals. Now we look to the next month.

"Yes I think we could have scored more goals; 3-1 could have been four or five. But it's important for me that we produced opportunities. We are making chances."

Trapattoni expressed no surprise at the result in Moscow which saw Slovakia grab all three points and a huge qualification boost.

"No, it was not a surprise for me but I still think Russia and Slovakia will be our group rivals, even if the result is good for our morale."

Trap had particular words of praise for Aiden McGeady who he believes gave one of his best performances in an Irish shirt against the Andorrans.

"I congratulated him him but not just for what he shows us last night," the Italian said. "He has done in two years what I ask him. I said to him, he can do more. He was always, fast with his crossing and shooting but his postitonal play is much better now.

"He understands many positions which we show him on DVD on the morning of the game. I am happy."

Always quick to highlight a mistake, Trapattoni gave his players some slack over the Andorran goal scored by Christian Martinez.

"It was a long ball, a header and he shot immediately," he said.

"I scored a goal like this -- once. against Austria. They deserve this goal but it was not a mistake."