Monday 20 November 2017

Niall Quinn backs down on call to sack Trapattoni

Niall Quinn. Photo: Getty Images
Niall Quinn. Photo: Getty Images
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

FORMER Republic of Ireland international striker Niall Quinn has backed down on his call to sack Giovanni Trapattoni as Ireland manager.

Quinn urged Trap's departure in the wake of the 6-1 defeat to Germany, but now says he should be kept on, though he admits it is worrying the FAI had to tell him to "work harder”.

The former Sunderland, Manchester City and Arsenal striker was attending a meeting of 120 Irish business leaders discussing trade and investment in Africa.

He is the co-founder of the Invest In Africa organisation, which is currently the shirt sponsor of Sunderland FC, and his broadband company, QSat, also works in Africa.

Mr Quinn said the FAI's demands that Mr Trapattoni work harder was of concern.

"In some respects, I think, you know, it is a little worrying that after a few years into a man's contract that the association are telling him to work harder.

"Obviously and naturally, whatever business it is, whether its football, industry or whatever, that is a little bit of a worry.

"But, OK, I am willing to say yes he has done enough in the past to warrant a second chance, almost, not that he was sacked or anything.

"But certainly, you know, from where I see it, the Irish team did outperform their abilities in getting to the Euros. It's the demise since then is the worrying part and is he the man to bring it forward? I said at the time of the Germany game, I didn't think so, but I am willing to accept that it might be in everybody's best interests that he is kept on and on the basis, which is important for me, that the players spoke highly of him.

"I mean that was a critical moment, I suppose, in how the whole pattern of how the few days had gone at that time. And they were on the back of a win, he has two wins out of nine.”

Mr Quinn was also critical of the players’ attitude in the 6-1 defeat to Germany.

"I also, I have to say, I enjoyed Liam Brady's stirring support for him in the after match debate. Liam is somebody I played with and somebody I respect. And for other reasons as well, I think I would put up with it.

"But I would like to see them reconnect with their fans again and show the kind of spirit in defeat, even if they lose, you know, that they don't go down the way they did to Germany, where there wasn't a warrior to be seen on our pitch that day, you know, and that's the thing that worries me," he added.

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