Monday 19 March 2018

Trapattoni refuses to name his team but hints at re-enforcements in midfield

Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has refused to name his starting XI for tomorrow's crunch Euro 2012 tie with Spain.

The Ireland manager normally names his side the day before the game, but he doesn't want to reveal his hand to opposite number, Vicente Del Bosque.

He is mulling over a tactical switch to counter the expected Spanish dominance in midfield, and could bring in Jonathan Walters for Kevin Doyle to provide extra support to Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews. That would leave skipper Robbie Keane in a lone striking role.

“I can't give you the starting line-up,” said Trapattoni at his press conference. “After our training today, I think I can better clarify the situation both physically and psychologically. We need to find a way to help the midfield.

“I think we have overcome the defeat against Croatia. I am seeing that the same enthusiasm is back. We have belief in ourselves, and belief in our quality.”

Captain Keane wore the expression of a man who knows that he is playing when asked if he could potentially be sacrificed. He defended his own performance in the Croatian game by pointing out that he wasn't presented with a glut of chances.

“You can only score goals when you have opportunities,” he said. “As a group of players, we didn't do enough to create too many chances.

“I'm sure everyone in the room has written the script for the Spain game already. But there's no way I would go into a game believing that we're going to lose.

‘‘We are playing the best team in the world, with the best players in the world, but we've got commitment, and desire, and heart. It's 11 v 11 for 90 minutes, and we've got a chance.”

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