Friday 19 January 2018

'I saw enough that was good' - Trapattoni

Manager backs wasteful Irish to shackle red-hot Ibrahimovic

Shane Long shows his frustration after missing a first-half chance against Wales
Shane Long shows his frustration after missing a first-half chance against Wales
Trapattoni is confident Ireland can cope with Ibrahimovic

SOCCER Daniel McDonnell

IRELAND manager Giovanni Trapattoni rued his team's wastefulness in the scoreless draw with Wales on the night that Zlatan Ibrahimovic sounded a warning ahead of next month's World Cup showdown by scoring a hat-trick for Sweden in their win over Norway.

Trapattoni expressed confidence that his charges can cope with the PSG star again after fielding the back four that is likely to tackle that encounter barring injury, although he is monitoring Richard Dunne's progress at QPR.

"Ibra can score goals but we are a team with good organisation and that is our strength," said Trapattoni. "Ciaran Clark is strong, John O'Shea too."

Composure in front of goal was a weakness, however, with Ireland creating plenty of chances in an encounter that lacked intensity.

Shane Long was the main culprit, missing two fine opportunities in front of a disappointing crowd in Cardiff before sustaining a back injury that will worry West Brom ahead of their Premier League opener.

James McClean also squandered a sitter and late sub Paddy Madden might have struck on his debut. The Yeovil attacker impressed the manager by getting into the right positions and has a good chance of making the squad for the double-header with Sweden and Austria that will decide Ireland's play-off fate.

Wales boss Chris Coleman admitted that his week had been overshadowed by Gareth Bale chat, but Trapattoni felt that Ireland could have coped with the £100m man.

"We deserved to win because we had three or four great opportunities. Their goalkeeper (Boaz Myhill) was fantastic. I was worried after the holidays that maybe the team did not have the same mentality (as in June), but I saw enough that was good."


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