Saturday 17 February 2018

Lame duck Trap insists he has done 'a great job'

Giovanni Trapattoni defends himself during a post-match press conference last night
Giovanni Trapattoni defends himself during a post-match press conference last night
Robbie Keane and Giovanni Trapattoni show their disappointment at the end of last night’s Group C qualifier

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI defended his record as Ireland manager, but admitted his future lies in the hands of the FAI after a crushing defeat to Sweden.

His team require a miracle to keep their World Cup dream alive after they squandered a winning position to suffer a limp defeat in front of an expectant Lansdowne Road crowd, with a win in Vienna on Tuesday and a number of favours elsewhere now required if the second place target is to be achieved.

Boos greeted the final whistle, but Trapattoni remains convinced that he is the right man for the job.

"I think until now, we make a very, very great job. Not a good job, a great job," said the Italian.

"We've changed many players in the squad, the team. It is up to the federation, but I look at what we have done in the last years and I am sure about the jobs we have done." Robbie Keane's first half opener put the hosts in a strong position but Johan Elmander quickly equalised and the increasingly influential Zlatan Ibrahimovic created a 57th minute winner for veteran Anders Svensson.

Trapattoni's men had no response and his future is set to dominate discussion ahead of Tuesday's trip to Austria.

"We have to see what can happen in the next three games," he continued. "We need to beat Austria but, obviously, the situation now is not easy. We still have to believe." Sweden are in the box seat in the race for a play-off and, realistically, Ireland need Erik Hamren's side to lose in Kazakhstan on Tuesday if they are to have any chance of catching them.

The Swedish coach admitted that he was surprised that Ireland's approach was so one dimensional given they have passed the ball more in recent games.

"Today was a lot of long balls," he said, "Not the way they've been playing the last, six, seven months. It was really important we won today.

This is a very good situation for us."

By Daniel McDonnell

Online Editors

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