Thursday 22 February 2018

Euro 2012: Marco Tardelli tells players to remember the performance and not the defeat

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

MARCO Tardelli is praying for a fairytale in Gdansk on Thursday, and says the Ireland players believe it is possible.

The assistant manager to Giovanni Trapattoni is conscious of the scale of the task which faces Ireland. If they lose to the world champions, they cannot make the quarter final – so their concluding match with Italy would be a dead rubber.

However, the former World Cup winner with the Azzurri feels that the Irish squad will thrive in that situation.

“There is good pressure,” he said, “We are Cindarella. We are underdogs. The players want to do something very important for the country. They believe. We believe. We are on the pitch to win. In the football, there are three results, and all things are possible. They need to feel well both physically and psychologically, and I think the players are ready now.”

Tardelli didn't wish to dwell on the performance in Sunday's reverse to Croatia, but suggested a similar display with less errors could yield something from the Spanish encounter.

“We need to see the performance but not the defeat,” he said. “We conceded three goals in a very strange way.”

Ireland skipper Robbie Keane endorsed that sentiment, stressing that better concentration will be required. “We have to approach in the way we've been doing,” he said.

“If you look at the way we conceded goals the other night, the timing of the goals absolutely killed us.

Apart from that, they didn't really open us up and create a hell of a lot of chances, so if we can just concentrate a little bit more..we have to get our mindset around that and be focused.”

All the Irish squad trained as normal in Gdynia this morning. Trapattoni mixed up his usual team in training, although it was later explained that the players divided their end of session match into a clash of 'Dubs v Culchies.'

The men from the country came out on top.

Read Daniel McDonnell in tomorrow’s Irish Independent

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