Euro 2012: Ignore Italy turmoil - Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni has warned his Ireland players not to be taken in by the turmoil surrounding Group C rivals Italy.
The 73-year-old's native country have this week had their preparations disrupted by yet another match-fixing scandal and the earthquake which forced the postponement of their midweek friendly against Luxembourg in Parma.
Things took a further turn for the worse on Friday night when Cesare Prandelli's men were soundly beaten 3-0 by Russia, the winners of Ireland's qualifying group, in Zurich.
However, Trapattoni, who will send his team into battle with the Italians in Poznan on June 18 knowing that game could prove crucial to the hopes of both nations, is refusing to read anything into the mounting chaos.
Speaking as he completed the Tuscany-based leg of his preparations in Borgo A Buggiano this lunchtime, he said: "It would be a great mistake if you think Italy is this because we don't know how they have done in their training camp. Be sure when we meet Italy, Italy will be another team."
The defeat by the Russians - Ireland lost 3-2 to them at the Aviva Stadium, but returned from Moscow with a hard-fought 0-0 draw - did little to improve the mood in Italy just hours after Prandelli had indicated he would be prepared to withdraw his team from the tournament if it was for the good of football.
But Trapattoni, who had his own difficult spell this week after deciding to drop Wolves defender Kevin Foley from his squad at the very last minute, is convinced that will have little impact on his former player.
He said: "What would happen if we lost 3-0 here with Ireland? It would be the same. If we lost a game 3-0, everybody would criticise us."