Friday 18 October 2019

FAI boss John Delaney raises the heat on Trapattoni

ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni
ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

Daniel McDonnell and John Fallon

FAI chief executive John Delaney has put the heat on Giovanni Trapattoni by setting a target of four wins from Ireland's remaining five World Cup qualifiers.

With hopes of qualification to Brazil in the balance, Delaney believes that Ireland need a 12-point haul from the run-in if they are to claim second place in Group C.

Given that runaway group leaders Germany have only lost once at home in over 12 years, Delaney's target will likely mean Ireland having to claim full points from the September double-header against Sweden and Austria.

Ireland's prospects were damaged by David Alaba's injury-time equaliser for Austria at the Aviva in March, and Trapattoni's tactics came under scrutiny in the aftermath. His continued employment depends on Ireland being competitive in the race to make Brazil. "We're running out of games to catch up," admitted Delaney at Cavan Box Park in Ballyjamesduff.

"It would have been a bit easier had we won against Austria, but we move on. Our challenge is to try and win at least four of our last five games.

"We were very unfortunate to only get two points from the games against Sweden and Austria. We deserved more. But we have the Faroe Islands next (in June) and we should win that. Then, there's the big double in September when we have Sweden at home and Austria away. Those will be the defining games."

Any slim chance Ireland had of reaching Brazil automatically vanished in October when group favourites Germany dished out a 6-1 hammering in Dublin. The nature of that defeat almost cost Trapattoni (pictured) his job, but Delaney and his board opted to hand the Italian a reprieve after the team won 4-1 in the Faroe Islands.

"A lot of us were very disappointed when we were beaten 6-1 by Germany," said Delaney. "It was a poor result and a poor performance. It was something that was really embarrassing for us all – not only for me as chief executive, but as an Irish football supporter, which I am."

Irish Independent

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