Yellow peril for Whelan

Aidan Fitzmaurice

GLENN Whelan fears that a rash challenge in Friday's European Championship win in Armenia could cost him his place in the Ireland team - with the possibility that the Stoke City man will be rested for tomorrow's qualifier at home to Andorra.

Ireland's disciplinary record under Steve Staunton was earmarked as one of the things which Giovanni Trapattoni wanted to change when he took over two years ago, and the Irish players did clean up their act under the Italian in the World Cup campaign.

But Whelan was booked two minutes from time for a clumsy challenge on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and the Stoke man -- who has missed just one competitive game under Trap -- now faces the prospect of a suspension if he's booked in the rest of the campaign.

Trap's assistant Marco Tardelli yesterday suggested that Trapattoni would at least consider resting Whelan for the Andorra game to make sure he's free to play in the first game of a massive double header against Russia (home) and Slovakia (away) next month, and Whelan admits that he's concerned about his yellow peril.

"The player got in behind me and Paul Green so I had to make an effort. I'd claim it as a good tackle but it was stupid for me to get a yellow card so early in the campaign, and I know that could cost me further down the line in the group in terms of a suspension," Whelan says.

"At the time I can't be thinking of that, I was only thinking of this game. Maybe it was a silly thing for me to do and it may force me to miss a game but I can't do anything about it now.

"It's up to the manager what he does now. He might choose to leave me out at some stage but I want to play in every game. It's out of my hands.

"I am always a committed player and I don't hold back when I play for Ireland. But I know now that it was stupid of me to get booked in the first game of the campaign," he added.

Trapattoni will decide after training this morning whether or not to change his team, but Tardelli yesterday said it was "50/50" whether Whelan could miss out.

"I don't know, Giovanni will decide the squad on Monday. It's possible to rest some players but I don't know if that is during the match or before," Tardelli said.